Apple’s Catalyst will help bring Macs to the enterprise
With the launch of macOS Catalina, the promised wave of iPad-derived Catalyst apps has begun with a twinkle at enterprise Mac deployments.
Catalyst is a work in progress
Having toyed a little with some of these apps, I think it’s fair to describe Catalyst as a work in progress. While it makes it easier for developers to migrate iPad apps to the Mac, there are some inconsistencies. But it looks like Apple is aware of these and is committed to meeting those challenges.
Todd Benjamin, macOS product marketing director, says Apple is listening to developers and users and promises to provide them with “additional resources and support to help them create amazing Mac experiences with Mac Catalyst.”
In other words, Apple is committed to evolving the tools it provides.
Future improvements are likely to include the addition of more AppKit APIs to Catalyst, enabling developers to create more complex and nuanced apps, so the future looks good. It just needs building.
5 Catalyst apps to explore today
Apple has created a Mac App Store section where it is profiling select Catalyst apps, though not all such apps are included. (If there is an iPad app you use that would be useful on a Mac, you should check with the app developer to see whether they plan to make it available on both platforms.)
Anecdotally, I think many developers are waiting to see what the first ports are capable of before committing valuable resources – so they’ll be keen for user feedback to help them decide when, or if, the time is right.
Meanwhile, here are a smattering of Catalyst apps that may come in useful to iPad/Mac using enterprise professionals.
1. GoodNotes 5
GoodNotes 5 is a brilliant note taking app that lets you create notes on your iPad as if you were working with digital paper. It also offers a powerful iCloud-based document management system and notes are searchable using OCR.
There is a limitation to the Catalyst version in that while you can write with an Apple Pencil in GoodNotes on your iPad, you can’t do so on a Mac, where you must use a mouse, trackpad, or…