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Going back to native MacOS apps?

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I have this hypothesis…

Lately, most of the apps most people have been using are electron-based (or not really native apps), like Figma, VSCode, or Obsidian.

Which is contradictory to what I grew up listening, that native apps are way faster, and better, than web apps.

Now, I’d like to test this hypothesis.

Are native apps better?

Honestly, I miss the feeling of a native app. Well-crafted native applications for MacOS just feel like a part of the system. The design feels more tactile. The rendering of the fonts seem a little better than a webview… I’m not sure.

To test this, I am updating my stack for my personal use.

For an example:

  1. To write this post, I am using an app called iA Writer, a minimalistic markdown editor.
  2. To design this site, I am using Sketch, a native design app for MacOS.
  3. To write and run the code for this website locally, I am using both iTerm2 — a MacOS Terminal replacement — and Nova 2 — an IDE by Panic Inc.
  4. To manage my tasks, I use Things 3, a minimalistic task manager.
  5. To keep up with my appointments, I use Fantastical — an app that managed multiple calendars.

The most important thing about these apps is that they work offline-first. They don’t require an internet connection, which is something you will rarely see in web apps.

Second, they are all optimized for MacOS, including keyboard shortcuts, and other intricacies.

Not sure I’ll keep using all of them, I already feel some of the drawbacks to replacing Figma with Sketch, or VSCode with Nova (which I will probably write about in a future post).

One thing is true, though. You can’t beat the design of Nova and Sketch compared to Figma or VSCode.

Let’s see how it turns out.