So Apple has finally released a macOS version of their WWDC app. Unsurprisingly, it’s based on Catalyst. I’m not a fan of Catalyst at all, I haven’t found a good app based on it yet. They range from crappy to barely acceptable. They usually don’t feel like a good Mac app and get the details wrong. And exactly these details are what make good Mac apps.
This WWDC app is no exception. It exists and it’s… okay. Nothing more, nothing less.
When you select the search field in the Developer app it shows the focus ring. Unfortunately this focus ring has square corners, rather than the rounded corners seen on every other focus ring on the Mac.
I’d call it nitpicky (and I promise, the other points are more important), but this is a good example, because it emphasised how deep the problem is and that even in the best case these apps feel just a bit off.
There should be a UI element that is the current focus, upon which keyboard input or menu items act. This is displayed by using the system accent colour. […] Unfortunately the Developer app doesn't do this at all, leading to confusion as to where the focus currently is.
I do most of my things with the keyboard, so current focus is crucial to me.
When a table has focus on the Mac, users expect to be able to start typing in a word. The table will then jump selection to the cell who's content most closely matches the typed value. Sadly the Developer app does not support this (which seems to be another general Catalyst issue).
This is another one of those small quality of life things which make my life as a user easier and just got forgotten about by Catalyst
At the bottom is a button titled "See latest videos and articles". Rather than switching the sidebar navigation to the "What's New" section, it instead slides on the "What's New" list in the full content area
Unfortunately the navigation when using something like VoiceOver is not great. […] Unfortunately everything seems to be at the top level. And I mean everything. Every view, every table cell. Even the find bar can be navigated to, even though it is off screen.
As things stand right now, Catalyst seems like a framework written by people at Apple who don’t know what makes for a good Mac app, for iOS developers who don’t know what makes for a good Mac app.