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What is Project Catalyst? Apple’s plan to bring iPad apps to Mac explained

During WWDC, Apple announced that iPad apps will be compatible with macOS with the newest version of the desktop operating system coming later this year. 

Yes, with macOS Catalina (v.10.15), Apple debuted the Project Catalyst name for the endeavour, with previous efforts appearing under the internal codename Marzipan.

After bringing its own Stocks, News, Voice Memos and Home apps to macOS in Mojave, Apple pledged to make it easier for third-party developers to port their iOS apps over to the desktop.

A beta version of macOS Catalina, which launches today for developers, gives the app-makers access to Project Catalyst. This will enable them all to work with the tool and get their apps ready for a launch later this year when Catalina rolls out to consumers.

Related: WWDC 2019

A trio of high profile developers, like Twitter, Atlassian (the makers of Jira iPad) and Gameloft have already committed to bring their App Store entries to the Mac App Store. The Twitter app, for example, will be available for macOS Catalina on day one, while Gameloft’s Asphalt 9: Legends game is also making the trip over to the Mac.

“One development team, for the first time, can create a single app that spans from the iPhone, to the iPad to the Mac,” said Apple’s Senior VP of Engineering Craig Federighi said during WWDC.

Apple didn’t go into full details on the lengths developers must go to in order to convert their app for Mac, but they’ll be using Xcode in order to do so. Apple’s previous statements on the matter suggest this will be easy enough for all developers to embrace.

Elsewhere in macOS Catalina, Apple is putting an end to iTunes as we know it. The media management software will now be split into three separate applications for Music, Podcasts and TV. Users will still be able to manually sync their iOS devices using their Mac, but the feature will be decidedly less visible.

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