Surely Catalyst is one of the new features in macOS 10.15 Catalina we were waiting for: According to Apple, the porting of iOS or iPadOS-based apps to macOS can be accomplished with Catalina in no time. Since the release of Catalina, just a handful apps using Catalyst appeared so far, the most-famous among them was surely Good Notes 5. Now, the official Twitter-app returns to the App Store but is it worth a download and can it compete to other third-party clients like my beloved Tweetbot?
First of all - and by all means - we should keep in mind that this app is still a port and not a complete overhaul of the mobile app. I am not a coder, but Apple describes the way of porting apps to macOS with Catalyst as a quite easy, mentioning some kind of "Drag 'n Drop" or "a click" to finish this process. Because of this users should be aware that the UI may still be made for mobile devices, not for the desktop. But anyway, in a time where the API-access of great clients like Tweetbot or Twitterrific are intentionally castrated, the loyal Twitter user has just a few choices: Either the official Twitter-client Twitter dumped in 2018 or TweetDeck which still feels strange if being compared with the great third-party apps.
Anyway, the download is not being presented on the "Perfect for Catalina"-welcome page in the App Store, instead you may simply search for it and download it with a click. With the first start you are pleased to enter your Twitter-credentials and after this you are ready to go. On both my machines (a 2017 MacBook and a 2018 Mac mini at the moment) the app started in a windows but could be resized to full screen without any problems. Scrolling worked fine (something I did not expect) and also the "Share to Twitter"-feature on macOS 10.15 Catalina did its job after enabling the extension in the System Settings. So far, good.
If you want a basic Twitter client and stay with all the features Twitter offers for the original client you are ready to go with this one. It still looks strange when you enter the settings which look exactly like the settings in the web client framed into a window - the app simply can't deny it's origin! After all, it does its basic work and once you are a user of the client on your mobile device, you will definitely find yourself at home.
In my opinion, this is a nice way to see how Catalyst works (haven't tested Good Notes so far which is a mobile app that will definitely raise the bar). Can it compete with Third-Party-clients? No - this app does its basic work (like the mobile client does), but the charm that comes with Tweetbot or Twitterrific is simply missing. My choice would be Twitter finally opening the APIs for those apps once again but this is - according to now - a wish that won't be fulfilled in the near future. In the meantime you may use this app but - again - don't expect it to be a complete overhaul or even a revolution for users of the official Twitter client. It works, it looks okay and it is a good proof what to expect with Catalyst in the future!