Twitter Bringing Mac App Back Using Apple's Project Catalyst
Apple last week unveiled Project Catalyst, an initiative designed to allow developers to port their iPad apps to the Mac.
At the time, Apple named several partners, including Twitter, and today, Twitter provided more detail on its upcoming Mac app.
Twitter says that it will leverage its existing iOS codebase to bring Twitter to the Mac, but will add native Mac features on top of its existing iPad experience to make the app better suited for the Mac.
We are excited that Project Catalyst will enable us to bring Twitter back to the Mac by leveraging our existing iOS codebase. We'll also be able to add native Mac features on top of our existing iPad experience, while keeping our maintenance efficient as we continue to improve this shared codebase in the years to come.
Twitter previously had a Twitter for Mac app that was discontinued in February 2018 with Twitter directing Mac users to instead use the Twitter for web experience.
The prior Twitter for Mac app never received much attention for Twitter. In 2015, the company said that it would refocus its efforts on building new features into the Mac app, but even after new features were added, the app didn't catch on and earned largely negative reviews in the App Store.
According to Twitter, the prior version of the Mac app was discontinued because it was not sustainable to maintain two separate codebases. Twitter wanted to focus on web and mobile instead of Mac, but with the new Twitter for Mac able to use the existing iOS codebase, there's less work to be done to make a Mac app available.
The new Twitter for Mac app will use our existing iOS codebase, rather than being built from a separate codebase, following the same successful strategy we've used with Web to expand our supported clients. By supporting key Mac-specific behaviors on top of our iOS code, we will be able to maintain feature parity across our iOS and Mac apps with relatively low long term maintenance costs.
Twitter says the upcoming Mac app will have full feature parity with other Twitter platforms plus additional changes like resizable windows with dynamic content, multiple windows support, native notifications, drag and drop, and keyboard support.