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Twitter Bringing Mac App Back Using Apple's Project Catalyst

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple last week unveiled Project Catalyst, an initiative designed to allow developers to port their iPad apps to the Mac.

At the time, Apple named several partners, including Twitter, and today, Twitter provided more detail on its upcoming Mac app.


Twitter says that it will leverage its existing iOS codebase to bring Twitter to the Mac, but will add native Mac features on top of its existing iPad experience to make the app better suited for the Mac.
We are excited that Project Catalyst will enable us to bring Twitter back to the Mac by leveraging our existing iOS codebase. We'll also be able to add native Mac features on top of our existing iPad experience, while keeping our maintenance efficient as we continue to improve this shared codebase in the years to come.
Twitter previously had a Twitter for Mac app that was discontinued in February 2018 with Twitter directing Mac users to instead use the Twitter for web experience.

The prior Twitter for Mac app never received much attention for Twitter. In 2015, the company said that it would refocus its efforts on building new features into the Mac app, but even after new features were added, the app didn't catch on and earned largely negative reviews in the App Store.

According to Twitter, the prior version of the Mac app was discontinued because it was not sustainable to maintain two separate codebases. Twitter wanted to focus on web and mobile instead of Mac, but with the new Twitter for Mac able to use the existing iOS codebase, there's less work to be done to make a Mac app available.
The new Twitter for Mac app will use our existing iOS codebase, rather than being built from a separate codebase, following the same successful strategy we've used with Web to expand our supported clients. By supporting key Mac-specific behaviors on top of our iOS code, we will be able to maintain feature parity across our iOS and Mac apps with relatively low long term maintenance costs.
Twitter says the upcoming Mac app will have full feature parity with other Twitter platforms plus additional changes like resizable windows with dynamic content, multiple windows support, native notifications, drag and drop, and keyboard support.

Article Link: Twitter Bringing Mac App Back Using Apple's Project Catalyst
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
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Florida, USA
It still blows my mind that a company as big as Twitter couldn't keep their Mac app up-to-date without Catalyst as a crutch, when single developers can keep (far superior!) apps like Tweetbot, Twitterific and so on updated without a problem.

Corporate politics is weird.
[doublepost=1560550807][/doublepost]
just buy the tapbot guys and have them work on the mac/ios version

The current Twitter app is the result of Twitter acquiring Tweetie, another third party app from about a decade ago. They took a fairly streamlined and fast-performing app and turned it into the bloated mess that it is today.

So they'd just be repeating that if they did that. Leave Tweetbot alone. It's already been crippled enough by the API changes.
 
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supercoolmanchu

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
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It’s just a website.

I understand their website technology kinda sucks and isn’t responsive for mobile devices, but adding a superfluous app layer for small screen feature parity on a computer, seems more like a total UI experience design fail. Seems like an very shoddy roof patch on a house with a crumbling foundation.

There’s a lot of really bad website > mobile app translations out there for the socials. Poor design is also even becoming a trend for Apple TV apps developed by third parties. Netflix in particular is also pumping out increasingly poor performing schlock across all devices.

For tech ‘website’ companies of this scale (Twitter, Netflix, Facebook, etc.) it’s become an embarrassing state of affairs. Maybe it’s time for them to get back to ground zero, turn out of this fragmented app dev skid and just make their websites work?
 
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now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
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definitely. There's no need for an app on either iOS or Mac or PC for something as rudimentary as Twitter blogging.
Website is fine. I guess developers like apps cuz they let them track the heck out of you
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,332
9,885
Florida, USA
ARM Macs are coming people. This is the first step in enticing developers to get ARM-based Apps onto x86 machines, so why not vice versa?

They just released a $6000 professional Mac using high end Intel Xeon CPUs, and have forked iOS for the iPad as "iPadOS" to show they're going to take the iPad in a different direction.

At this point I doubt ARM Macs are coming, and Apple is just going to reposition the iPad to be a more capable laptop substitue for low-end users, and keep Intel Macs around for developers, power users and pros.
 
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chucker23n1

macrumors 601
Dec 7, 2014
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ARM Macs are coming people. This is the first step in enticing developers to get ARM-based Apps onto x86 machines, so why not vice versa?

I don't know why people keep assuming Marzipan has anything at all to do with CPU architectures.

UIKit has always run on x86 (the iOS Simulator does precisely that), nor is there a reason to assume AppKit wouldn't run on ARM.
 
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chucker23n1

macrumors 601
Dec 7, 2014
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It’s just a website.

No, it's a web app.

There’s a lot of really bad website > mobile app translations out there for the socials.

There have been tremendous Twitter apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot since almost day one.

Would you say TextEdit is "just a website"? If not, why not? You don't think a big text box and a bunch of formatting buttons can be done in the browser?
 
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farewelwilliams

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Jun 18, 2014
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The current Twitter app is the result of Twitter acquiring Tweetie, another third party app from about a decade ago. They took a fairly streamlined and fast-performing app and turned it into the bloated mess that it is today.

So they'd just be repeating that if they did that. Leave Tweetbot alone. It's already been crippled enough by the API changes.

I know the history. I stand by my comment.
 
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BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
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Screw Twitter,.

Cesspool of hate and banality.

Traitor to developers who built the early innovations in the early years.

Had a garbage app on the Mac. Then abandoned the platform after years of disinterest.

And now we are now supposed to welcome them back after they got a free ride from Apple.

Screw Twitter.
 
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DaveP

macrumors 6502
Mar 18, 2005
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The whole two codebases thing seems to be way overblow/a crutch. The vast majority of halfway decently architectured apps should be able to reuse very large portions of code. For example, in Twitter's case pretty much everything with their servers (authentication, pushing and pulling content, etc.) should be able to use the same code base. And the respective UI classes for iOS and macOS often have nearly identical counterparts making for even more overlap.

But I suppose saying, "we killed the Mac application because we didn't care about it and wanted to focus on other things", doesn't sound as good.
 
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supercoolmanchu

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
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Website is fine. I guess developers like apps cuz they let them track the heck out of you

Good point. Hadn’t thought of that. Also what’s the point of secure versions of Safari, if Facebook/Twitter are just going to build their own insecure browsers... ahem, I mean ‘apps’.
 
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lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
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Im actually looking forward to the app. I’m the sort of dude that clears his entire history and cache after every use so having an app where I can stayed logged on perpetually eliminates one more website I have to log into.

Mac also has a shortage of useful apps compared to Windows so any new app that I can take advantage of is a plus.
 
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