It has been little over a year since Twitter decided to discontinue its Mac desktop app. Recently, the company announced that it’ll be bringing their app back after Apple revealed the upcoming Project Catalyst for MacOS 10.15 Catalina. This initiative is designed to allow developers to port their iPad apps to the Mac.
Twitter made the announcement during Apple’s 2019 WWDC conference, stating that the app would launch together with the macOS Catalina later this fall, and that the upcoming version will include many different features like dark mode, keyboard shortcuts, multiple windows, and notifications.
Twitter explained why it decided to drop the app last year. In February 2018, Twitter removed the app from Apple’s App Store after many irregular updates, recommending people just use the browser version. In a recent post, the company provided an explanation for why the original Mac app was discontinued: despite being based on the iPhone app, the Mac app “diverged as Twitter increasingly focused on its mobile apps,” and the company simply couldn’t maintain the two.
On Friday, June 14, 2019, Twitter made an official statement that provided more detail on its upcoming Mac app, explaining the main advantage of the upcoming Project Catalyst: “ 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.“ This will make the app better suited for the Mac.
Twitter’s older Mac app version never received much attention. In 2015, the company announced that it would refocus its efforts on building new features into the Mac app, but even after those were added, the app didn’t become any more popular, while also getting a ton of negative reviews in the App Store.
Twitter explained that the older version of the Mac app was discontinued because it wasn’t viable, which then proved unreasonable 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 in order to make a Mac app available. The company recently said “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 include all the features present on other Twitter platforms, while also counting with additional changes like resizable windows with dynamic content, multiple windows support, native notifications, drag and drop, keyboard support, and the so loved dark-theme mode.