Mac Catalyst Apps: Our Favorites So Far
Several developers have taken advantage of the new capabilities in Catalina to create Mac Catalyst apps for the Mac App Store, and we thought we'd round up the most useful of these for those who are wondering how Mac Catalyst apps work and how they compare to their iPad app counterparts.
- Twitter for Mac (Free) - With Mac Catalyst, Twitter reintroduced a Twitter app for the Mac, a year after the original Twitter for Mac was eliminated. Twitter for Mac is a hybrid of the iPad app and the web interface, though it more closely resembles the browser version of Twitter. It works as you'd expect a Twitter for Mac app to work, with a navigation bar on the left for swapping between mentions and messages, and then a Twitter timeline.
- GoodNotes 5 ($7.99) - Popular note taking app GoodNotes 5 is available on the Mac following the launch of macOS Catalina. You can view and access your notes, but taking notes is a much better experience on the iPad because you can use the Apple Pencil or a stylus. You can write on the Mac version, but it requires a mouse or a trackpad, which is not the best experience. Being able to reference your notes on your Mac is super useful, even if the bulk of the functionality is designed for the iPad.
- Allegory ($3.99) - For those who prefer Markdown, Allegory is a Mac Catalyst app that's now available on the Mac. It's simple, straightforward, easy to use, and the available feature set is the same across the iPad and the Mac.
- Carrot Weather ($14.99) - Carrot Weather is a popular iOS app that's now on the Mac. It uses Dark Sky and offers up some accurate weather data. What's more, it has a snarky attitude that turns boring weather information into a much more fun interaction. Carrot Weather is one of our favorite Mac Catalyst apps so far, and given the app's simplicity, it's quite similar to the iPad version.
- Rosetta Stone (Free) - Rosetta Stone on the iPad is an app designed to help you learn a language, and in Catalina, the Rosetta Stone app is also on the Mac. It's a solid port and the experience is overall the same, with the bonus of being able to swap between devices to learn a language no matter what you're using. The app is free, but it requires a subscription.
With Catalyst apps, Mac versions need to be purchased separately from iOS versions, which is a downside that may put some people off of them. For your favorite apps, though, the purchase price may be worth the cross platform availability.
Mac Catalyst apps are still in the early stages of rolling out, and Apple has plans to expand the Catalyst feature in the future. We can expect to see more apps designed for the iPad ported over to the Mac as time progresses, and if you've found a great Mac Catalyst app, feel free to mention it in the comments.
Right now, you can see a collection of other Mac Catalyst apps in the Mac App Store under the "Apps You Love Now On Your Mac" section of the Mac App Store, but it's otherwise tough to tell a Catalyst app from a regular Mac app.