AppKit still pretty great

Reacting to Daniel Jalkut’s follow-up on his 2010 post about native apps vs. web apps, Michael Tsai has a great summary of how much Apple has lost the plot. His blog post collects many of the problems in one place:

Since then, Apple has slowed the pace of improvements to the frameworks for writing native Mac apps. It added technical (sandboxing, TCC, SIP, kernel extension restrictions) and policy (App Review) roadblocks that make it harder to develop apps that go beyond what can be done with Web technologies.

I’ve been doing a lot with AppKit this week, updating Micro.blog for Mac. I can’t believe I’m saying this in 2022, but AppKit is still the best way to develop Mac apps. Apple’s framework strategy is so muddled.

If you’re supporting iOS, Android, and macOS, you might choose an Apple framework like Catalyst or SwiftUI to cover iOS and macOS, then something different for Android. But lately I’ve been thinking the best way to support all 3 platforms is to have cross-platform code on mobile, and AppKit on macOS. iOS and Android are a lot more similar than either one is to the Mac.

Manton Reece @manton
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