Thursday, January 30, 2020

LastPass to Drop Support for Native Mac App

Chaim Gartenberg (via MacRumors):

Password management app LastPass has announced it will be discontinuing its native macOS app on February 29th, directing users in an email to switch over to the new web-based version of the app that will replace it.


To replace it, LastPass will be offering a new Mac app that will support the new extension system. However, instead of being a fully native piece of Apple software, it’ll be more of a web app that’s “built with technologies shared with our other LastPass apps,” which the company says will make it easier to maintain its apps across multiple platforms.

I wonder why they didn’t choose Catalyst.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

They didn’t choose Catalyst because they care more about their developers than their users.

I don't have any insight into LastPass as a company, but from what I've seen in similar companies, the simple fact is that their dev teams are probably severely understaffed, and as the company grows and supports more different platforms, and as the code base and complexity of adding new features increases grows, it gets harder and harder to maintain synchronized release cycles so that new features are consistently supported across all platforms. Also, the more different technologies you have to support (web frontend, web backend, Catalyst, Android, Windows, etc.), the harder it is to create a cohesive dev team, to hire people (you probably want Catalyst devs to interview people for Catalyst positions), and to reassign people between teams when required.

It's just much easier to use web technologies everywhere. It solves a lot of problems from a management/hiring/dev governance perspective, and it means that new features can be shipped faster, and for all platforms concurrently. And, honestly, I doubt most Mac users will really care. It's not like you spend hours and hours every day inside LastPass. In the end, it's probably better to get new features at the same time across all platforms reliably, than have the Mac app feel like a completely native product.

They didn't choose Catalyst because it's a shit show. Automatic conversion makes a bad app, if they already have a good web app the result with Electron will be better.
(I worked a lot with Catalyst and hope this changes eventually)

Leave a Comment