Astropad is Coming to Windows

Posted on October 12, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Hardware, iOS, iPadOS, Mac and macOS, Mobile with 36 Comments

After being Sherlocked by Apple in macOS Catalina, Astropad is bringing its iPad as a second screen solution to Windows.

“In June 2019, Apple announced a new feature in macOS Catalina called Sidecar that closely copied our product lines,” Astropad’s Savannah Reising explained in a recent blog post. “For our team of just 13 people, it was devastating news. Watching Apple present Sidecar to the world was like seeing years of hard work flash before your eyes while someone else takes credit for it.”

For those unfamiliar with the term “Sherlocked,” Apple has a rich history of stealing ideas from products made by third-party developers and then incorporating them for free into its own platforms. It’s called “Sherlocked” because of one of the more infamous examples of this theft, when Apple stole the functionality from a product called Karelia Watson and incorporated it into Mac OS X as Sherlock.

Apple seems to Sherlock at least one product with each platform release. And it appears that it was Astropad’s turn this year with macOS Catalina.

The problem for Astropad, of course, is that its products are macOS native. So it is now moving its codebase—over 40,000 lines of Objective-C and C++ code—to Rust, which is cross-platform and will allow the firm to bring its products to Windows and even other platforms.

“With Rust, we’ll have a high-performance and portable platform that we can easily run on Mac, iOS, Linux, Android, and Windows,” Astropad’s Matt Ronge writes. “Not only will this drastically expand our potential market size, but we also see many interesting new uses for our Liquid technology that we’ll be able to pursue with our Rust based platform. We’re confident that we’ll finish our Rust journey with stronger code, better products, and an optimistic outlook for Astropad’s future.”

So Astropad’s bad news from Apple may be good news to creatives who have chosen Windows over the Mac. You can learn more about Astropad and the Liquid technology those products use from the Astropad website. They even have a nice comparison with Sidecar that’s worth checking out.

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