Catalyst deep dive: The future of Mac software according to Apple and devs

Catalyst deep dive: The future of Mac software according to Apple and devs

Enlarge / Twitter returns to the Mac via Apple’s Project Catalyst. (credit: Apple)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—When Apple revealed macOS Catalina at WWDC this month, one related announcement drew considerable interest from Mac users and developers alike: a new way to turn iPad apps into fully native Mac apps.

Dubbed Project Catalyst, it promised to increase the number of quality native apps on the Mac platform by leveraging developers’ existing work in the arguably more robust iOS (and now, iPadOS) app ecosystem. But it does raise questions: what does this mean for Mac users’ future experiences? Will this change the type of software made for Macs? Is Apple’s ecosystem a mobile-first one?

Then there are developer concerns: is Catalyst just a stepping stone to SwiftUI? What challenges can devs expect when adapting their iPad apps for the Mac?

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iPadOS, coming “this fall”: Thumb drives, more gestures, “desktop-class” browsing [Updated]

iPadOS, coming “this fall”: Thumb drives, more gestures, “desktop-class” browsing [Updated]

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

In addition to expected updates to WatchOS and iOS, Apple’s Monday WWDC keynote included an announcement of a new iOS fork: iPadOS. This new updated OS focuses squarely on the larger-screen capabilities of iPads—though Apple didn’t confirm which iPad models will be supported. The OS’ beta period will begin “today,” with a full release slated for “this fall.”

In the demo, Apple’s Craig Federighi showed off features that are likely familiar to anyone who has used larger Android phones and tablets, including the ability to pin homescreen widgets and a “fanning” interface to pick through recently opened apps.

iPadOS does put a welcome, Apple-like spin on multi-window support: supported apps will allow users to grab and drop content between windows. Federighi showed this off by using a “tap-and-drag” feature to move attachments and links from one Mail window

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