For more than a year, macOS users have been without an official desktop Twitter client — more on that shortly. But now, thanks to Project Catalyst for macOS 10.15 Catalina, a Twitter app is making its way back to Mac.
Twitter says that Apple’s Project Catalyst means that it has been easy to use the code from the iOS version of the client to create a native macOS app. The company has also revealed just why it was the Mac Twitter client disappeared in the first place.
Twitter explains that it decided to focus on mobile apps as it was becoming impractical to maintain apps with different codebases. But now Project Catalyst makes it simple to create macOS app from iOS app, a shared codebase is possible.
In a post about the return of Twitter for Mac users, the company says:
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.
It goes on to say:
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.
The macOS Twitter client will not just be a direct port of the iOS version. New features will be added that are unique, including “resizable windows with dynamic content, multiple windows support, native notifications, drag & drop and keyboard support”. Twitter adds: “There may even be a few new exciting features we haven’t been able to build for mobile devices that we’re excited to share in the fall!”