How to port iPad apps to the Mac without writing any additional code


Starting with macOS Catalina, developers can easily port their iPad apps to the Mac. Also, Apple’s developer page says that with macOS 10.15 Catalina SDK, app creators can use new technologies like Sign in with Apple and build more flexible user interfaces with SwiftUI.

iPad vs MacBook

Developers who have created apps tailored for the iPad, can now create a Mac equivalent using the beta version of Xcode. The upcoming Xcode 11 has an option which automatically creates macOS equivalent code without any additional code to be written. All the iPad app creator has to do is tick a button which reads “Mac” in the project settings. 

The porting process is so simple that it could very well kickstart the Mac App Store for the very first time. Apple introduced the Mac App Store along with Mac OS X Lion, however it never really took off. The store is definitely a great place for people to find new apps, purchase games, and download apps created by Apple. But it never really attracted developers as the iOS’ App Store.

Improved cross platform synchronization

Since the emergence of smartphones, much of the focus has been on creating great apps for handheld devices. The desktop/laptop turned into the platform which people use for their work. But if Apple could persuade developers to port their iPad apps to the Mac platform, it could very well bridge the gap between Apple’s platforms and increase synchronization between them.

After ticking the “Mac” checkbox in the project window of an existing Xcode iPad project, developers have the option to improve the Mac experience by giving attention to detail. However, if the developer doesn’t want to change anything, the Mac app will  be ready to work on the macOS platform. It also puts both macOS and iPadOS projects in one place under the same source code, reducing the clutter.


Abhay Ram

Abhay Ram is a News Editor at iLounge. He has been writing about the Apple ecosystem and accessories since 2010. Abhay's work has been featured in various publications. When he's not writing about all things Apple, you can find him playing video games or enjoying a good cup of coffee.