Project Catalyst


'Project Catalyst' Articles

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

Some Developers Facing 'Several Problems' Porting iPad Apps to the Mac With Catalyst [Updated]

One of macOS Catalina's biggest new features for developers is Mac Catalyst—initially known as Project Catalyst—which Apple says makes porting iPad apps to the Mac as easy as checking a box in Xcode. However, more work is required for the iPad apps to truly resemble native Mac apps, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that some developers have encountered "several problems" with Catalyst so far. For example, the report claims that James Thomson had to work harder than he expected to get his popular PCalc calculator app for iPad to run well on the Mac. Thomson said the Mac version initially "looked like an iPad app floating on a larger Mac screen," so he had to redesign much of the user interface. Thomson added that some older Macs struggle to handle Catalyst-based apps that use Apple's high-level 3D graphics framework SceneKit. Lukas Burgstaller, developer of the RSS reader Fiery Feeds for iPad, also "ran into all sorts of walls" trying to adapt the iPad app to the Mac interface using Catalyst, but the report does not mention any specific issues he faced. On the consumer side of things, the report notes that Catalyst results in users paying twice for the same app across iOS and macOS. "As a user, I don't want to pay again just to have the same app," well-known developer Steven Troughton-Smith told Bloomberg. "As a developer, I don't want my users to have to make that decision." Troughton-Smith touched on some of the issues developers are facing with Catalyst, noting that Mac versions of some apps can't hide the mouse cursor while video is playing, or

Code in macOS Catalina Suggests Apple is Working on Catalyst Versions of Messages and Shortcuts for Mac

Apple appears to be working on full Project Catalyst versions of Messages and Shortcuts for Mac, according to hints of the new apps found by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. Hidden Shortcuts for Mac code running on macOS Catalina, via Steve Troughton-Smith Last, Troughton-Smith found that the Project Catalyst software on ‌macOS Catalina‌ includes Shortcuts frameworks suggesting a future Shortcuts for Mac app, and now it appears Apple is also working on a Catalyst version of the Messages app. There is a whole lot of evidence in Catalina that they're working on a full, Catalyst version of Messages, much like Shortcuts for Mac. So, just like Shortcuts, I decided to cut to the chase and do it myself by calling the system frameworks. Voilà pic.twitter.com/IsXKrGpemd— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) June 19, 2019 Much of the UIKit Messages app is functional on macOS, using the native Catalyst UI from the ‌macOS Catalina‌ system frameworks. iMessage Effects, for example, are functional. And, just for reference: this isn't a 'marzipanified' version of the Messages app from the iOS Simulator. This is the 'native' Catalyst UI coming from the macOS 10.15 system frameworks. Just like Shortcuts, it's all there, and mostly works if you know how to talk to it pic.twitter.com/VO59kPbbVY— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) June 19, 2019 iMessage Effects! pic.twitter.com/e6VM0xa6g4— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) June 19, 2019 Apple made no mention of an overhauled Messages app or bringing Shortcuts to Mac when introducing ‌macOS Catalina‌, so

Craig Federighi on iPad's Long-Awaited External Drive Support: 'We're Willing to Acknowledge the 1990s'

On the latest episode of the AppStories podcast, MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci sat down with Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi to discuss WWDC 2019 announcements, including Project Catalyst, SwiftUI, and iPadOS. Craig Federighi at WWDC 2019 Project Catalyst will make it much easier for developers to extend iPad apps to the Mac. In many cases, adding macOS support to an iPad app is as easy as opening an Xcode project and clicking the Mac checkbox, although Apple encourages developers to further optimize their apps to offer a true Mac experience. Federighi believes Project Catalyst will allow many developers to bring their ‌iPad‌ apps to the Mac, as Apple has bridged the gap between its UIKit framework for iOS apps and its AppKit framework for Mac apps:UIKit and AppKit always remained these two separate worlds, and depending on what a developer did, they could build an app that was sort of factored in a way that they shared a lot of cross-platform code, but they had to always take that extra step of having people on the team that knew AppKit, people on the team that knew UIKit, and make the decision to specialize for those two. And for many developers, they chose one or the other and not both, because that was a real effort to get the expertise and to make the investment. Project Catalyst Federighi expressed excitement about Project Catalyst, noting that he has seen many apps that look fantastic on the ‌iPad‌ that he has wanted on the Mac. With macOS Catalina and Xcode 11, that is now a possibility, with Twitter being one of several

iPad Apps Are Coming to the Mac With Apple's Project Catalyst

While the Mac and iPad remain distinct products, Apple continues to bridge the gap between its desktop and mobile platforms. In 2014, for example, it introduced Continuity features like Handoff and Universal Clipboard that enable more seamless experiences across the Mac, ‌iPad‌, and other Apple devices. The next step in this process is Project Catalyst, which makes it much easier for developers to extend iPad apps to the Mac. Starting with macOS Catalina and Xcode 11, developers can create a Mac version of an ‌iPad‌ app using UIKit, an Apple framework that until now was intended solely for iOS apps. Adding macOS support to an ‌iPad‌ app is as easy as opening an Xcode project and clicking the Mac checkbox under General > Deployment Info. While the Mac version of the app should run after the box is checked, this is not always the case, as the Xcode project may contain code that no longer compiles due to frameworks, APIs, or embeddable content that is incompatible with the Mac, according to Apple's developer documentation:Most ‌iPad‌ apps are great candidates for adaptation, but a few rely on ‌iPad‌ features that don’t exist on a Mac. For example, if your app's essential features require ‌iPad‌ capabilities like gyroscope, accelerometer, or rear camera, iOS frameworks like HealthKit or ARKit, or the app's main function is something like navigation, it might not be suited for the Mac.Apple has instructions on how to remedy these compatibility issues. ‌iPad‌ apps ported to macOS run natively on the Mac, utilizing the same frameworks, resources, and runtime