Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Sketch’s Mac App Manifesto

Like a lot of people, I adored this treatise on the value of a native Mac app from the good people at Sketch:

Best of all, native Mac apps like ours are designed to fit with the rest of the operating system. It’s hard to quantify, but if you use Apple’s built-in apps you immediately get a ‘feel’ for how things should work in native apps. When an app ‘fits in’ with the rest of the OS, it doesn’t just look and feel more at home on your Mac — it lowers the learning curve when you first open it. That’s why we (and plenty of other great macOS developers) work hard to follow the conventions set out in Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines, so that our Mac app has that same, familiar feel. And you can start using it instantly, from the first click.

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Ultimately, the choice is in your hands. We want to give you the best of all worlds. The latest features in a native Mac app, with all the functional benefits that brings. The ability to choose how and where you work. The option to share your work and handoff to others in Cloud. And soon, the ability to collaborate in real-time.

We simply couldn’t do this without being a native Mac app. macOS is an amazing platform to work on, and we’re grateful to the community of designers like you that use Macs every day to create amazing work. Thank you for supporting us, and all the other native apps that help make the Mac the platform it is today. And thank you, Apple, for giving us a place to call home.

You may see this as a shot across the bow of Figma, but it speaks just as readily to clumsy cross-platform apps like the Adobe suite. I see it as a firm commitment to the values of detail and quality.

The hardware that is being announced at tomorrow’s big Apple event is certainly exciting, but third-party apps are why I continue my investment in the Mac ecosystem. This piece speaks to my deep appreciation for really great Mac apps — from Sketch to Nova; NetNewsWire to MarsEdit; Keyboard Maestro to Things. I live in apps like these, and they are why I use a Mac.