macOS Catalina launched earlier this month, bringing the new Mac Catalyst platform to the masses. Mac Catalyst makes it easier for developers to bring their iPad apps to the Mac, but some developers have faced challenges doing so. In a new statement to CNET, however, Apple says that it is learning a lot as more developers adopt Catalyst.
Todd Benjamin, Apple’s macOS product marketing director, says that the goal of Catalyst is to give iPad app developers “a huge head start” when coming to the Mac ecosystem. In conjunction with that, Catalyst also opens up new opportunities for users. Benjamin explains:
Our vision for Mac Catalyst was always to make it easier for any iPad app developer, big or small, to bring their app to the Mac. This allows them to leverage one codebase and one development team. Mac Catalyst gives iPad app developers a huge head start and for many, an opportunity to expand their reach onto the Mac platform that they may not have had before. Not only is this great for developers, but it’s also great for Mac users, who benefit with access to a whole new selection of great app experiences from iPad’s vibrant ecosystem.
Benjamin also noted that Apple is taking early developer feedback into account, and working to provide additional resources and support:
“For many of the early Mac Catalyst developers, it was their first time ever developing an app for the Mac, and it’s amazing what they’ve been able to achieve in such a short time,” he added. “We’re learning a ton from these early adopters, and are planning additional resources and support to help them create amazing Mac experiences with Mac Catalyst.”
This isn’t the first time Apple has committed to making improvements to Catalyst. For instance, the summer, Craig Federighi said that Apple itself has been learning quite a bit about how to combine UIKit and AppKit.
For the piece, CNET also spoke to developers who have been early adopters of Catalyst. Some of them offered praise for the new platform, such as PDF Viewer founder and CEO Peter Steinberger:
Steinberger’s team spent about three months creating and optimizing the PDF Viewer app for Mac with Catalyst. Without it, the process would have taken about two to three years, he said. “It has us going much faster, and now we have a product that gets us in the Mac App Store,” Steinberger said. “It’s an extremely exciting technology and I’m sure this will bring a lot more apps to the Mac.”
Steve Troughton-Smith pointed out that there are still things missing from Catalyst, such as the ability to share subscriptions between iOS and macOS, issues bringing apps to older Macs, and the lack of clear documentation for Catalyst.
“Catalyst is one of the biggest changes to the Mac since Mac OS X in 2001, and I think it paints a very different picture for the future of the Mac,” Troughton-Smith said. It needs more attention from Apple, however, to ensure that it’s possible for developers to use it to build strong Mac apps, he added.
The full piece from CNET has more detail on early developer impressions of Catalyst. Read it here.