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A Brief Introduction of Mac Catalyst

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Rivers Wong

Written by

Rivers Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: Wonder what is Mac Catalyst? This article provides you with all you should know about Mac Catalyst, including its usage, benefits, and what to consider before using Mac Catalyst.

Mac Catalyst

 You may find that there are a lot of apps you frequently use on your iPhone or iPad that are not available on the macOS App Store, such as Facebook, Netflix, and Hulu. To be honest, they are more like web-based apps on Mac.

With Mac Catalyst, things are starting to change. Before Mac Catalyst, converting iOS apps over to Mac required additional time and resources. But now, it's easier for developers to get this work done. Read on to learn more about this powerful tool.

What is Mac Catalyst?

Mac Catalyst was introduced by Apple in 2019 during WWDC. It is a powerful tool that enables users to run iOS code on macOS. In other words, it is a tool that helps app developers transform their iOS apps easily into Mac versions.

Now, with the help of Mac Catalyst, users will see more of their favorite apps come to Mac than ever before. So, if you are interested in designing or building macOS apps, or making your existing iOS app available on macOS, you'd better not miss this tool.

what is Mac Catalyst

Some known macOS Catalyst apps

Thanks to Mac Catalyst, some applications that you use on iOS are now available on macOS. You may take it for granted or probably didn't even notice. Anyway, let's check out some known macOS Catalyst apps.

Apps developed by Apple

  • Home
  • Apple Music
  • Apple News
  • Apple TV
  • Stocks
  • Voice Memos
  • Testflight

Apps developed by others

  • Twitter for Mac
  • GoodNotes 5
  • Notability
  • Allegory
  • Carrot Weather
  • Rosetta Stone

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What benefits can you get from using Mac Catalyst?

Here are the benefits you may get from using Mac Catalyst to transform iOS apps to Mac versions:

  • Porting the iOS app over to the Mac version in a low resource-consumption way.
  • Create a Mac version of iOS apps without making big changes to its layout.
  • Endow an iOS app with macOS app structure, design patterns, and navigation conventions.
  • Making the app available to a new audience and letting existing users enjoy it in a new environment.
  • Since Mac apps built with Mac Catalyst share code with iOS apps, you can add more features just for Mac.
  • Creating a Mac version of your iOS app makes the app support some fundamental macOS features, such as keyboard, trackpad, Touch Bar input, Toolbar support, rich text interaction, and pull-down menus.

Mac Catalyst

What to consider before using Mac Catalyst?

Before you transform your iOS app into a Mac version through Mac Catalyst, you should consider whether your app is suitable for a macOS application. Many iOS apps are great candidates for creating a Mac app while many are not. Apps with the below features are ideal candidates for Mac apps, let's check them out:

  • Drag and Drop: If your iOS app supports drag and drop, it is also available in the Mac version.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Though not every iPad has a physical keyboard, iPad users like using keyboard shortcuts to streamline their interaction with apps. By supporting keyboard shortcuts in the iOS app, it would be easy to add support for macOS shortcuts to the Mac app.
  • Multitasking: Applications that extend the interface well enough to support the split view, glide through, and picture-in-picture provide the necessary foundation to support the wide range of window adjustability that Mac users expect.
  • Multiple windows: By supporting multiple windows on the iOS app, your app will get support for multiple scenes in the macOS version.

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To sum up

This article tells what is Mac Catalyst and lists some popular macOS catalyst apps for you. Also, it introduces the benefits you may get from using Mac Catalyst to create a Mac version of an iOS app. Things you should consider before using this powerful tool are covered too. Hope you enjoy Mac Catalyst as much as you can!

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