In the wave of macOS Catalina, Mac App Store highlights apps built with the Catalyst Project

Learn more about the Catalyst Project, which narrows the gap between macOS and iOS

For a long time, it was believed that Apple would eventually make a complete spindle between the macOS it's the iOS even if it was largely denied by its executive body. Today, we know that at least in the near future, Ma's strategy is not exactly that: Macs and iPhones / iPads will each remain in their own corner, but with increasing synergy and intercompatibility. And the great responsible for this initiative has name: Catalyst Project.

Anyone who has been following the Mac world for at least a year knows that the initiative was otherwise known by the beginning of this week: internally, Apple called it “Marzipan Project” and we even have a very complete article talking about it. Now, under the new name, the Catalyst Project takes on a "final" form for developers and brings a host of news that we will address now.

At first it is important to know that in order to enjoy Catalyst news, all you need to have is a Mac running macOS Catalina 10.15 it's the Xcode 11. From now on, you can create (almost) universal apps: instead of using the frameworks UIKit (for iPad) and AppKit (for Mac) separately, you can work only on UIKit to create an iPad app that will be easily ported to your Mac.

How does it work, exactly? Just check the design option for macOS when you are developing your iPad app. Xcode adapts many elements of your project to the Mac interface, creating a standard menu bar (which you can customize, of course), adding scrollbars and support for elements such as keyboard, mouse and trackpad, window resizing, full-screen operation, drag and drop, and Touch Bar controls.

All of this is done so automatically that, in simpler apps, many developers will have almost zero work to port their iPad apps to the Mac if they want to introduce differences in the desktop version.

Of course, not every app can be automatically ported, as the iPad has several elements of interaction and I am aware that they are not present on Ma's computers. If your app is based on elements like rear camera, accelerometer, gyro, HealthKit or ARKit, It will be possible to create a version for macOS so easily, and, as Apple itself stated in the Project Catalyst documentation, it may not even be a good idea to do so, as these apps would not work satisfactorily on computers.

For developers or enthusiasts who want to delve deeper into the process of porting an iPadOS app to macOS, Apple already has a complete documentation about it (of course).

Twitter for Mac

If you, on the other hand, just want to take advantage of the news provided by the Catalyst Project, you don't have to go far: Twitter will soon be one of the first services to update your app by taking advantage of the platform's new features. Worth reading the thread posted by the bird social network support team:

Twitter is excited to announce that we're bringing the iPad Twitter experience to the Mac!

The new Twitter for Mac will be developed over the summer in preparation for a preliminary release on macOS 10.15 Catalina (sic).

Apple's exciting new technology allows Twitter to bring its entire 1.5 million-line code base from iOS to the Mac, providing full feature parity with the iPad app, while enhancing the iPad. It's the macOS experience that will make Twitter feel at home on your Mac.

Twitter for Mac is completely native, with all the native features of a Mac app. Multiple windows, window resizing, drag & drop, Dark Mode, keyboard shortcuts, notifications and more!

Thanks to Apple technology, the new Twitter for Mac gets regular updates, just like Twitter for iPad and iPhone. It's the best of both worlds: the complete Twitter experience improved to run natively on Mac!

Cool, isn't it? It is hoped that many developers will embrace the Catalyst Project as soon as possible after all, synergy always a positive thing.