Is Catalyst a (partially) defensive move?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2019
Hello everyone.

I've been thinking about Catalyst and Apple's reasoning behind it.

Some of it seems obvious: make devs' lives easier, increase software availability on macOS and consequentially sell more Macs.

So at first glance this seems to be a "power" move in the sense that Apple with the only real ecosystem is uniquely positioned to do this and entice devs to adopt it.

But I think it's also a defensive move, for 1 reason only: Electron.

I'm not a fan of it (I'm being as nice as possible here) but it's getting increasingly harder to avoid (popular) apps made in it.

Now, I know I won't speak for every Mac user out there, but one of the reasons why people use Macs is because of certain apps being exclusive to macOS.

Electron threatens this. Just look at some of the apps made in Electron:

GitHub's desktop client
Microsoft Teams
Visual Studio Code

These are not some niche apps with small userbases.

And not only do they run on both macOS and Windows, but also Linux! (except MS Teams IIRC)

The longer this continues (and I don't think it'll stop anytime soon), the more generic a Mac will become in many people's eyes. Sure, some of us will continue to use Macs because we also use some apps that aren't written in Electron (yet?), have an entire workflow built around them, etc.

But I can't help being a bit worried about this.

What do you guys think?


macrumors member
Aug 8, 2018
The American Empire
I doubt it will matter at the end. Apple has a focus - the eco system and its hardware software synergy. None of the apps you listed have any real consequence to that strategy now and likely will have less later. Catalyst is an App Store “one shot” applet strategy. They are applets - not real applications (yet) but they will fit a niche widgets used to and be profitable in the same way most App Store applets have been for pad and phone. Looking at Xcode direction catalyst will become a real thing once the lineup is converted to t2 and then the basis to leverage the a series chips as co processors will be the real game changer


macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2015
It was an eventuality ever since Microsoft tried, but failed, to pull off a similar merging Windows Windows 8 and "Metro" apps. Apple took a much longer time to respond mainly because they wanted to see what worked, and didn't work, from what Microsoft did. Ultimately, the reason Microsoft failed and is still unable to make traction in this area is they didn't make the Applications feel "native" enough. They feel like some halfway point that no one really wants. Too small to be a full Windows application, but too large to be a tablet application.

Ultimately, we'll see how Apple goes about it, but it is a move aimed at keeping the value proposition high for developers where Apple is playing from a position of strength.

Electron crosses more platforms than pure Apple ones so I'm not sure this is a move to counteract that.