Skip to main content

Mac users should not hold their breath for Netflix to port its iOS app

Macbook Air (2018) Review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Even after Apple opened the app doors to Mac users to be able to download iOS apps ported with a technology called Catalyst, there’s a notable — and popular — title missing: Netflix. Even though Netflix is accessible on a Mac through a modern web browser, being able to run the video subscription service in its own native app, which would have been a ported version that was originally designed for the iPad, could enable additional features to owners of Apple’s desktop products, including the Mac Mini, iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and the soon-to-launch Mac Pro.

For frequent travelers or those who find themselves in areas with limited internet connectivity, a Catalyst-enabled Netflix app on the Mac would have brought welcomed features, like the ability to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing. Another feature that Mac users won’t get to experience would be picture-in-picture integration with Apple’s platform, according to The Verge.

Netflix’s reluctance to embrace the Mac and Apple’s Catalyst development engine at this time doesn’t mean that the company prefers to shun the desktop in favor of tablets and smartphones. On the Windows side, Netflix maintains a Windows 10 app that works well on laptops, tablets, desktops, and convertibles, suggesting that there may likely be broader challenges at this early stage. Bloomberg reported that some apps that were designed specifically for touchscreen input are still jarring to use around the keyboard and mouse paradigm of a desktop. Some video apps cannot hide the mouse cursor while video is playing, a problem that Apple will likely have to correct if it intends on welcoming video services like Netflix to port their iOS apps to the Mac.

“Many of the issues originate from Apple’s initial promise of checkbox simplicity,” Bloomberg reported. “It is indeed that easy, but the resulting ported app still carries over vestiges of its iPad optimizations that don’t work as well on Mac computers.”

Editors' Recommendations

Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
Some updates coming to macOS 15 aren’t just about AI
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air on a desk, with macOS Sonoma running on its display.

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is coming up soon, and everyone's expecting a huge announcement around AI. But don't worry, according to a report from AppleInsider, there are some practical tweaks coming to macOS 15 that are in the works. Notably, the System Settings app is set to receive the biggest changes, with other menus and app UIs also expecting some rearranging.

The last update to the Settings app happened with macOS Ventura, changing the name from System Preferences to System Settings and shifting to an iOS-style design, a change that ruffled the feathers of diehard Mac users. This time, the organizational system will reportedly be based on "priority and overall importance."

Read more
4 high-end features Windows laptops still have over MacBooks
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 9 top down view showing tablet and pen.

Apple's MacBook lineup has exploded over the last several years, with its Silicon chipsets offering class-leading performance and efficiency. The MacBook Pro, in particular, is faster than many Windows laptops, longer-lasting than most, and has an excellent mini-LED display. There are many good reasons to choose a MacBook over a Windows laptop in today's market.

But all isn't lost for the Windows platform. Even aside from the upcoming Snapdragon X Elite laptops that look to be competitive, there are still some more basic features that you can only get on a Windows laptop at the moment. Here are the four that I keep coming back to.
Windows Hello

Read more
Stop using these default Mac apps — trust me
A person using a MacBook Air connected to two monitors.

Apple makes a huge variety of its own Mac apps, and some of them are among the best Mac apps you can get. The problem is that while many of them are pretty excellent, that’s not the case for every last one -- some are middling while others are worth avoiding altogether.

Whatever the case, you might be looking for an alternative to Apple’s built-in Mac apps. Here, we’ve catalogued the apps we think you should replace first, and suggested which third-party apps you should swap them out for. That should bring you more features and an all-around better Mac experience.
Calculator (use PCalc instead)
The PCalc app in macOS Sonoma Digital Trends

Read more