iPhone and iPad apps which have been ported over to the Mac using Apple’s Catalyst framework will support the company’s Apple Pay mobile payment solution with the release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS 11.0 Big Sur in the fall.

Apple Pay coming to Mac Catalyst apps

According to Apple’s official release notes for the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates, Apple Pay support is now available to Mac Catalyst apps. This is a major change for both developers and users because until now Catalyst-powered Mac apps couldn’t use Apple Pay at all.

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“Two contingencies have been added to existing delegate protocols to enable Apple Pay support,” AppleInsider explained today. “Both deal with payment authorization controllers and at least one must be implemented to add the feature when building for Catalyst.”

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Apple’s registered developers are not required to make any special changes in order to enable Apple Pay support when porting their existing iOS apps to the Mac with Catalyst.

Catalyst challenges

Apple previewed Catalyst a year ago at the WWDC 2019.

Catalyst is a set of frameworks that were designed to help developers bring existing iOS app experiences to the Mac without having to start from scratch. Catalyst is basically an intermediate software layer that bridges the gap between iOS’s UIKit and macOS’s AppKit frameworks for the vast majority of an app’s user interface elements.

Apple announced project Catalyst at the WWDC 2019

First Apple apps ported over to macOS Catalina with Catalyst, such as Stocks and Podcasts, weren’t promising at all due to a number of interface, layout and alignment issues. But Apple always maintained that the inaugural version of Catalyst wasn’t fully fleshed out and promised to make corrections, adding new capabilities based on developer feedback.

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And it seems that’s precisely what they’ve been actually doing in the past year or so. If new Catalyst versions of Podcasts, Music, TV and several other apps in macOS Big Sur are anything to go by, lots of progress has been made in just one year.

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Your thoughts on Catalyst apps

How do you feel about Stocks, News, TV, Music and similar Mac Catalyst apps in Big Sur? And how do these apps compare to last year’s counterparts in macOS Catalina, do you think?

If the Messages app in Big Sur is an indication of Apple’s efforts, a bright future lies ahead for Catalyst indeed. Apple has said it wants to replace the Messages app on macOS with its Catalyst counterpart, and that’s what they have done with macOS 11.0 Big Sur.

Catalyst-built Messages in macOS Big Sur

While Messages on Big Sur suffers from several user interface inconsistencies that continue to plague Catalyst, it’s much nimbler and better-looking than the native Messages app in macOS Catalina, I think. And more importantly, Catalyst is helping Apple to bridge the gap in terms of Messages features on iOS and macOS — in Big Sur, Messages gets not only bubble effects and animations, but also mentions and other new features found in the iOS 14 version of the app.

Your thoughts on Mac Catalyst apps and Apple Pay support?

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