With macOS Catalina, due out in a few months, Apple has expanded the Mac app catalog with a project called Catalyst. Basically, it’s a new way for iPad app developers– far more of those than develop apps for the Mac– to put a version of their wares onto macOS.
Less Is More
Apple has a few of the Catalyst apps on macOS Mojave already. The News app, the Stocks app, Home, and Voice Memos are examples of how easy it is to move iPad apps to the Mac. With Catalyst and macOS Catalina you will see a flood– a few hundred at first, then thousands, then more thousands– of iPhone and iPad apps show up on the Mac.
How good will those apps be compared to the current crop of Mac apps we know, love, and use already? Quality will vary, of course, but don’t expect a Catalyst-based app that works well on iPhone and iPad to work much differently on macOS. That means simplicity rules.
How many iOS apps can we expect to show up on the Mac? Headlines and hype are much the same thing. This one is wrong.
No, that won’t happen because there are barely (if that) 2-million apps on iOS anyway, and all developers are not going to jump onto this bandwagon right away.
This one makes more sensible sense.
If you have half a day and want to dig into the nitty gritty details of what’s going on with Project Catalyst and the future of iOS apps on macOS and what it could mean for the Mac’s future, Samuel Axon did the dirty work in an excellent analysis.
I have a few Apple apps that I hold dear because of one factor. They sync and play nice-nice on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and, a few, on Watch. It is important to me to keep information flowing through each device. Catalyst apps on macOS can help that and GoodNotes is a good example.
We believe that it is a great opportunity for us to unify the GoodNotes experience between iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS and will launch the new GoodNotes for Mac using Apple’s new framework.
We will see similar situations with popular iOS apps that make the move to the Mac. But let me look at the math. There are about 1-billion iPhones in the wild, perhaps 300-million iPads, and only 100-million Macs.
Why bother with a change in app development that affects less than 10-percent of all Apple’s major hardware offerings?
Apple is about to save the Mac because Apple is a hardware company.
Whether later this year or next year or even the year after, Apple will push a Mac onto the market which won’t be Intel Inside. Instead, that Mac model will feature an Apple-designed A-series CPU that will leave entry-level and mid-range Intel PCs in the dust. iPad Pro does that already– faster than more than 90-percent of all PC notebooks on the market.
Apple wants to grow the Mac’s installed base and what better way to do that than with a Mac that outperforms comparably priced PC notebooks and has more apps– familiar apps– available?
The Mac is about to be back, Jack.