Developers can convert iOS apps to macOS via Catalyst

Apple converted Xcode to let developers build iOS apps for macOS through Project Catalyst, something rumored to be called Marzipan. Catalyst allows iOS developers to tick Xcode to compile the app for macOS.

However, interface changes will be needed to make apps look good on macOS, including a broader interface and elements geared toward mouse and keyboard use, Apple says. The feature is included in the new version of Xcode in macOS Catalina, the new version of macOS that comes in beta Monday.

With Catalyst, Apple wants to encourage developers to create more apps for macOS. Apple had already made several apps in the current macOS version Mojave using this technique, but is now opening it up to developers for the first time. You can do that by making UIKit work on macOS. That was not possible until now.

Apple also released SwiftUI, its own UI framework for apps and games that developers write in Swift. UIKit and AppKit are based on Objective C, although Swift also works with it. That should reduce the amount of code developers have to write in some cases. There is also a live preview of the interface of the app in Xcode and the interface can be edited while showing the preview of the app on desktop or on a phone. SwiftUI apps run on all Apple operating systems, including macOS, iPadOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Changes have also been made to Xcode. For example, ARKit has the ability to capture people’s movement and use it as input for augmented reality, so that an avatar in ar can imitate people’s movements. Also, Microsoft showed Minecraft in ar. Microsoft subsidiary Mojang took advantage of the new version of Xcode to create the game in augmented reality.