by Brandon Butler
Fixing iOS apps on the Mac 11/26/2020

Jason Snell for MacWorld, on fixing iOS apps on the Mac:

Running iOS apps on the Mac can be a little weird, it’s true. But it can sometimes be good. Unfortunately, a lot of interesting iOS apps just aren’t available at all, because their developers have removed them from the Mac side of the iOS App Store.

It’s not a great situation. It needs to get better. Here are some ways that might happen. […]

Apple’s biggest impact can come with the decisions it makes about hardware. The reason some iOS apps feel weird on the Mac is that they were designed for touch, not for a cursor and keyboard. Introducing Macs with touchscreens won’t change the Mac’s status as a mouse-first operating system, but it will offer alternate modes of input—and open up better compatibility with some iOS apps.

And imagine if Apple made a two-in-one convertible laptop, with a screen that could be wrapped around the back to make it temporarily more like an iPad. A lot of users would love a laptop that could transform into a tablet from time to time—but the apps need to be there.

Snell offers good advice for Apple, developers, and users, but this is ultimately on Apple making the Mac a better home for apps that were designed to be touched, not point-and-clicked. Without a touch screen, many of these apps will remain better off as iPhone and iPad exclusives.