Apple Planning New Mac Catalyst Resources to Help Devs Create 'Amazing Mac Experiences'

In macOS Catalina, Apple introduced Mac Catalyst, an initiative designed to make it simple for developers to port their iPad apps over to the Mac App Store with minimal work. Mac Catalyst is still new and developing, but its ultimate aim is to bring more apps to the ‌Mac App Store‌.

Following the launch of Catalina, macOS product marketing director Todd Benjamin spoke to CNET about Mac Catalyst, providing some insight into Apple's goals and the initial rollout of the feature.


Apple designed Mac Catalyst to let ‌iPad‌ developers use a single codebase and development team to create apps for multiple platforms. The feature, says Benjamin, is great for Mac users and developers alike.
"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."
Thus far, several major apps have been ported over to the Mac using the Catalyst feature. This includes GoodNotes 5, Twitter, Carrot Weather, Rosetta Stone, and more. Apple too has brought iOS apps to the Mac using Mac Catalyst, such as Find My, Podcasts, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home.

According to Benjamin, Apple is learning a lot from early adopters and plans to take their feedback into account when expanding Mac Catalyst in the future. Additional resources are in the works to help developers create "amazing Mac experiences."
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. 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."
CNET's full piece on Mac Catalyst, which includes details from developers who have created apps using the feature, can be read over on the CNET website.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

4 weeks ago
I bet they could create even more amazing Mac experiences by writing a native Mac app, but that's just me
Rating: 21 Votes
4 weeks ago


I bet they could create even more amazing Mac experiences by writing a native Mac app, but that's just me


Money and time. Microsoft doesn't even write native Windows apps: VS Code, Teams, Yammer etc. are basically browser-based websites in a desktop window. Along with Slack, Discord, Twitch, Spotify, GitHub, etc.

If you can't get these companies to write Windows apps in the mobile-first cross-platform environment of today, you're never going to get them to write Mac ones.
Rating: 6 Votes
4 weeks ago
The amazing Mac experience has always been when your Mac was intuitive and predictably stable. Please don't forget this, Apple. I'm of the group that would settle for less MacOS innovation in return for more consistent stability and usability.
Rating: 5 Votes
4 weeks ago
Maybe Apple could start with doing their own apps like Health. How about parity between Messages on iOS and Mac?
Rating: 4 Votes
4 weeks ago
Speaking as one, no app developer wants negative ratings and reviews. They stick around and don't go away.
How aware are Mac App store users that the app they've installed is a ported iPad App?
I'm leaving this alone for at least a year or two before I even consider porting.
Rating: 3 Votes
4 weeks ago


I think that Apple could really help support the mac app ecosystem by bringing 32bit OS X apps to MacOS!


Or developers could do their job and update their ancient apps to run on 64 bit framework.
Rating: 3 Votes
4 weeks ago
The problem is that Apple locks Xcode with macOS releases.

I stopped developing because it is nearly impossible to cleanly support older version.
Yes, you can select the SDK, but it will NOT build against the original frameworks.
It just does not use certain API's.

If Apple would separate Xcode from the Command Line completely and would improve the joke that is the xcodebuild command line tool, I would be much more motivated to develop for the Mac.

Also, Apple didn't really design the sandboxing in a useful way.
The forced limitations if you want to publish in the AppStore are too high maintenance.

I want to host my own build automation in the Cloud, including all tools for code signing and publishing to the store.
Rating: 3 Votes
4 weeks ago
I want the Angry Bird games that are 32-bit on the Mac brought over from the iPad.
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago
Seems like the real motivation behind Catalyst is to provide a stepping stone toward Arm Macs.
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago
Project Catalyst was supposed to be as easy as "clicking a button" to transform iPad apps into Mac apps, but I have seen many developers say much more work than they anticipated is required to make it work. Take Asphalt 9, for example. It was supposed to be released alongside macOS Catalina, but it is delayed for a few months as developers continue to optimize the app for the Mac. I just don't know how much value Apple's "new resources" are actually going to provide.
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]