Apple’s Catalyst can simultaneously rescue the Mac and grow the iPad

John Voorhees for MacStories:

[The SwiftUI unveiling at WWDC 2019] raises an interesting question: what does it mean for Catalyst? If SwiftUI is the future and spans every hardware platform, why bother bringing iPad apps to the Mac with Catalyst in the first place?

SwiftUI serves the long-term goal of bringing UI development for all of Apple’s platforms under one roof and streamlining it. It won’t take over immediately though. There’s still work to be done on the framework itself, which Apple will surely expand in capability over time.

By contrast, Catalyst is a shorter-term initiative designed to address two soft spots in Apple’s lineup: the stagnation of the Mac app ecosystem, and the slow growth of pro iPad apps. The unstated assumption underlying the realignment seems to be that the two app platforms are stronger tied together than they are apart, which ultimately will protect the viability of their hardware too.

MacDailyNews Take: An excellent article, highly recommended.

The plan, of course, is that in the short term, before SwiftUI takes over, Catalyst will translate the some of the strengths of the Mac to iPad and get iOS developers well down the road to finished Mac apps, greatly bolstering the catalog of Mac apps in the process. Both outcomes look possible, if not probable, from what we’ve seen and heard about catalyst so far.

These are very exciting times to be users of Apple hardware, software, and services!


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