Apple to offer more support for developers using Project Catalyst

Apple will offer developers more support should they want to bring their iPad apps over to the Mac, according to an official statement given to American news organization CNET.

The company has said that it’s “learned a lot” as developers adopt Catalyst apps and that it was clear Apple had more to do if it wanted to encourage wide-spread cross-platform apps.

Todd Benjamin, Apple’s macOS product marketing director, said that the aim of the project was to give iPad app developers a “huge head start” when building for macOS.

“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,” he said in an interview.

“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 added that Apple has been taking early feedback from developers into account and that the company would be working to provide additional resources and support for developers who wanted to give a Mac app a go.

“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.”

Apple’s Craig Federighi revealed over the summer that the company itself had been taking its time to learn how to combine UIKit and AppKit, and that it had more to do to build an experience that worked for iPad developers.

CNET also spoke to developers who had been using Catalyst to convert their iPad apps into macOS apps, and whilst some offered praise, others were less complimentary of the project.

Popular social media commentator Steve Troughton-Smith said that some things were still missing from Catalyst, like the ability for app developers to share subscriptions between iOS and macOS apps, as well as issues when trying to port iPad apps to older Mac devices.

“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 during his interview. “It needs more attention from Apple, however, to ensure that it’s possible for developers to use it to build strong Mac apps.”

Have you been building with Project Catalyst? Are you enjoying a Catalyst-powered app on your Mac, like Twitter for Mac? Let us know your thoughts and check back soon for more.

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