Riccardo More wants you to believe that Catalyst has led to an empty landscape of new, great Mac apps, claiming

An operating system (and relative first- or third-party applications) that really embraces the potential and the characteristics of the specific hardware it runs on needs to be built on an equally specific set of frameworks, and does not need to be contaminated by frameworks and paradigms from an operating system that historically is a simplified derivation of Mac OS X itself.

But I think Christian Tietze has it right,

Riccardo is not happy about something, and I don’t understand what or why. Is it just existential fear for the Mac? Or is he genuinely unhappy with the tools in his toolkit? Which are these? … All in all, the Mac app landscape appears to be in good shape.

More’s own list of “old (some very old), tried-and-trusted applications” includes NetNewsWire, which is a completely modern Swift rewrite that only shares it’s name (and creator) with the original.

But there are many great new Mac apps, they just may solve problems that More has already solved his own way. He mentions nvAlt for notes, which is about to be re-released as a ground up, rewrite commercial product. Unless he only pays attention to the Obsidian and Notion crowds, there are many other great macOS note taking apps like Craft and Bear, both of which feel great. He’s happy with BBEdit– who can blame him!– but it’s not like Nova didn’t just get released. He doesn’t mention any email applications, so I’m assuming he’s just using Mail.app or webmail, but Mimestream is phenomenal if you’re using Gmail 1. I could say the same about calendars and Fantastical.

What’s going on here? Some of us have started to reach middle age. We have the tools and solutions that work for us and have become engrained in how we think about using computers. Just like seemingly every generation decides that music is worse than it’s ever been and nothing new is as good as what came before, we just don’t look for new solutions to our problems. We rebuild ourselves around the tools that we have that work great. New stuff loses any luster it had just for being new, and it turns out a lot of “problems” we have with our tech… aren’t.

Look at how someone ten years younger than you uses their phone or computer. I bet they have a whole different set of obviously essential tools solving the same problems we have but in a way that works for them.

The apps haven’t gotten worse. The platform simply hasn’t changed that much. What we use computers for has stopped changing so much. And the problems we have haven’t changed that much. It’s natural the tools and solutions haven’t changed that much either, provided they have a sustainable business model.

  1. Please, please, please start working on JMAP and Fastmail support! ↩︎