The arrival of macOS Catalina – Apple’s latest operating system for its desktop and laptop ranges – has the potential to dramatically increase the number of games and apps available for the Mac thanks to the inclusion of Mac Catalyst.
Announced in June, Catalyst is a new software-development tool which lets developers write apps which can run on both the Mac and the iPad and will make it easy to port existing iPad apps, be they big name content services top name gaming and casino apps or productivity apps to the bigger screen devices.
One of the most eagerly anticipated apps in the first wave to be released was Twitter which axed its previous Mac app in February 2018, forcing users back to the browser – a seriously retrograde step for those managing multiple accounts or who just wanted to follow the discussion while also working and browsing.
As well as making life simpler for developers, Apple says users will benefit from a “seamless experience across your devices” while being able to “take full advantage of the larger screen and powerful architecture of your Mac.”
While Apple has a reputation for market-leading innovation, in making it easier for developers to make apps available on both of its platforms the firm is following in the footsteps of Google which has already made it possible for apps developed for Android smartphones to also run on Chromebooks.
That decision drastically boosted the number of third party programmes which could be used on the often low-cost laptops which are now a serious alternative to either a Windows laptop or MacBook for many consumers and even, thanks to the sudden ability to run essential software such as Microsoft Office, business users.
Both Apple and Google are looking to further blur the distinction between devices in the gaming world via Apple Arcade – a gaming subscription service which offers a library of games which can be played on the Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV – and Google’s upcoming Stadia which promises to bring big name games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 to your Pixel smartphone, laptop or TV.
While Apple Arcade’s confirmed list of games are a little less premium than Google’s, what unites both services is the ability for players to start a game on one device and then pick up from where they were on another device.
The years of mobile and computer users and gamers having to contend with platform specific experiences and features finally look to be a thing of the past.