Back to the Mac: Twitter Is Making Its Return to macOS

Apple’s release of Project Catalyst for macOS 10.15 Catalina enabled the new app

Twitter allowed its original Mac app to sunset in March 2018 - Credit by Twitter
Headshot of David Cohen

Twitter is coming back to the Mac after pulling the plug on its original application for that platform in March 2018.

Senior staff software engineer Nolan O’Brien said in a blog post that Apple’s release of Project Catalyst for macOS 10.15 Catalina last week eased the process for developers looking to bring their iPad apps to macOS as native Mac apps, adding, “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.”

O’Brien said Twitter will be able to support Mac-specific behaviors on top of its iOS code and maintain feature parity across its iOS and Mac apps at a relatively low long-term maintenance cost.

He added, “Mac users are some of the most engaged people on Twitter, and we are thrilled to introduce them to a new fully native Mac app that has full feature parity with our other platforms, plus amazing new features. Expect great things like resizable windows with dynamic content, multiple windows support, native notifications, drag and drop and keyboard support. 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.”

As for the previous rendition of Twitter for Mac, O’Brien said it shared the same roots as Twitter’s iPhone app, and the apps for the two platforms became more and more different as the social network focused on its mobile apps.

He added, “To focus on the most important priorities, Twitter directed its attention to the core clients it would invest in strategically. This led to our Responsive Web codebase being the spearhead for all platforms via web browsers, plus iOS and Android codebases as targeted strategic platform investments. We now had a strategy to effectively expand Twitter’s reach with Web as a Progressive Web App that could become our installable app for Windows and the lightweight Twitter Lite for Android—one codebase, multiple clients. The refocused priorities also meant sunsetting Twitter for Mac, Twitter for Windows, Twitter for Windows Phone, Twitter for Xbox One, Twitter for Samsung Tablets, Twitter for Google TV and other clients.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.