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Mac Catalyst Adds iPad Apps to Catalina

Image via Mac App Store

Do you sometimes wish that those great apps that you have on your iPad would have a native counterpart on your Mac? Mac Catalyst is a feature that allows iPad developers to easily port their apps to macOS, and there are already a number of apps available that mirror their iPadOS counterparts. Let’s take a look at how Apple is marketing Catalyst to iPad developers as a way of increasing the market size for their apps, as well as some of the Catalyst apps that are available on the Mac App Store.

How Do Developers Use Catalyst?

iPadOS developers need to check just one checkbox titled “Mac” in their iPad project settings in Xcode to start the process of making their iPad apps usable on Mac. Apps share project and source code in Xcode, meaning that it’s no longer necessary for developers to create two separate projects for the two platforms.

Apple designed Catalyst to increase the number of apps available on the macOS platform, noting that there are over 100 million active Mac users who could benefit from some of the innovative apps that have been created for iPadOS.

What Mac Catalyst Apps Are Available?

The jury is still out on just how many iPad developers have jumped on the Catalyst bandwagon, but there are a growing number of apps on the Mac App Store that were built with Catalyst.

For example, I’ve used the TripIt app on my iPhone and iPad for years to keep track of travel plans while I’m on the road. The Catalyst version on macOS makes it possible to look at or edit those plans in a native app rather than having to log into the TripIt website, although I found that the website is still more useful than the app for inputting detailed trip itineraries.

The TripIt app now works on Mac as well as iPadOS thanks to Catalyst
The TripIt app now works on Mac as well as iPadOS thanks to Catalyst

Are you on an Agile software development team? If you are, chances are very good that you use Atlassian Jira, and that’s now available on Mac as a Catalyst app. One of the most useful apps I’ve found for capturing and organizing notes for projects is 3M’s Post-It® app, which made the jump from iPadOS to macOS in record time thanks to Catalyst.

A handful of other notable apps that came to Mac by way of Catalyst include Twitter, the hysterically funny and useful CARROT Weather, and the Zoho Sign e-signature app.

If you find a favorite iPad app on the Catalyst listing in the Mac App Store, consider downloading or buying it to encourage other iPad developers to use Catalyst.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Contributing Author
Steve has been writing about Apple products since 1986, starting on a bulletin board system, creating the first of his many Apple-related websites in 1994, joining the staff of The Unofficial Apple Weblog in 2008, and founding Apple World Today in 2015. He’s semi-retired, loves to camp and take photos, and is an FAA-licensed drone pilot.
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