Apple released macOS Catalina to the public on Monday, and one of the biggest features of the new operating system is Mac Catalyst, which Apple says makes porting apps from the iPad to the Mac as simple as checking a box in Xcode.
However, developers are finding it takes more than a simple click of a mouse to make their iPad apps truly resemble native Mac apps. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reports that some developers say they encountered “several problems” with Catalyst.
As an example, Gurman’s report says developer James Thomson had to work harder than expected to convert his popular PCalc iPad calculator app to run well on the Mac. Thomson said the initial version of the Mac conversion “looked like an iPad app floating on a larger Mac screen,” leading him to redesign much of the user interface for the Mac version.
Thomson noted that some older Macs are struggling to handle Catalyst-based app that use Apple’s 3D graphics framework SceneKit.
RSS reader Fiery Feeds developer, Lukas Burgstaller says he “ran into all sorts of walls” trying to adapt the iPad app to the Mac using Catalyst, but specific issues aren’t mentioned in the report.
Developers are also concerned over how their users will have to basically buy the same app twice.
“As a user, I don’t want to pay again just to have the same app,” well-known developer Steven Troughton-Smith told Bloomberg. “As a developer, I don’t want my users to have to make that decision.”
The Bloomberg report also mentions that two upcoming Catalyst apps Apple had featured on their website, comic book app DC Universe and the racing game Asphalt 9, were removed from the site this week.
While DC hasn’t announced the future of its app, a tweet by Gurman says Asphalt 9 developer Gameloft says the game has has been “slightly delayed” in order to “polish the experience” and that it will launch later this year.
Despite the issues developers have faced with Catalyst, developers like Troughton-Smith believe Catalyst is the “future of Mac app development.” I guess time will tell.