Apple says macOS and iOS aren’t merging anytime soon. But this year’s batch of software updates will make the two platforms more similar than ever before.
A new report from 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo, who spoke with sources familiar with the development of macOS 10.15, suggests that the next Mac software update will bring Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time and other previously iOS-exclusive features.
The currently unnamed update to macOS will reportedly feature support for Siri Shortcuts, an app that lets users combine tasks and actions into single shortcuts or workflows. Rambo points out that the system-wide support for Shortcuts app strongly suggests that the app will be available for macOS.
Of course, Shortcuts — which Apple built based on its acquisition of Workflow — isn’t technically a native iOS app. It must be separately downloaded from the App Store. That’s likely to be the case for macOS 10.15, too.
It’s also probable that the new version of Shortcuts will be crafted on Marzipan technology, allowing it to be more a seamless platform across macOS and iOS. In fact, Rambo’s sources say that Shortcuts on the Mac will only be compatible with Marzipan apps.
Finally, adding Shortcuts support could also play into Apple’s plan to allow developers of iPad apps to port their platforms more easily to macOS. Rambo suggests a new SDK that will allow this could be debuted this year.
In addition to the introduction of Shortcuts, Apple engineers are also working to make Siri more similar on both platforms. macOS 10.15 could include the ability for the digital assistant to set timers and alarms and offer air quality information — all features currently available with Siri for iOS, but not the Mac.
The report also indicates that digital wellbeing will be coming to macOS as well. The Screen Time feature, which was first introduced in iOS 12, will be coming to the Mac platform this year.
Like its iOS counterpart, Screen Time for the Mac will let users see how much time they’re spending on their computers and set limits on how much time they can spend.
It’s unclear if those limits will only be available for apps and app categories, or if Apple will introduce more granular controls — like allowing users to restrict time spent on websites in a browser, for example.
Other iOS-like features that are rumored to be introduced to Apple’s lineup of computers include a new Apple ID management panel, which will offer better configuration options for Family Sharing, and in-thread iMessage effects like confetti, lasers, fireworks, and others.
macOS 10.15, along with Apple’s other 2019 software updates, are expected to be unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in early June. A final consumer version of the updates should drop in September or October.