Published: Thu, December 21, 2017
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

Apple will combine iOS and Mac apps next year

Apple will combine iOS and Mac apps next year

Apple's idea behind merging iOS and Mac apps is nearly exactly like Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform which allows developers to build a single app that can adapt across computers, laptops, tablets, phones, game consoles, AR headsets, headless hardware, and more. As a result, the apps that do make it to the Mac App Store are often given less attention than their mobile counterparts, which means fewer updates and less upkeep. The Universal Windows Platform allows developers to create a single app that works on all devices, whether it's a tablet, smartphone or computer.

Sources familiar with Apple's plans tell Bloomberg that the project, codenamed "Marzipan", will be one of the flagship features of next year's software roadmap. The company reportedly hopes the move will bring new life to the Mac App Store, which hasn't been almost as successful as the iOS App Store.

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Despite huge leaps in that direction - not least the new Files directory in iOS 11 and the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro - Apple has long denied plans to merge its mobile and desktop operating systems. Apple's plans are still fluid, the people said, so the implementation could change or the project could still be canceled.

Apple could soon release apps that work across iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, according to a Bloomberg report released Wednesday. The company is said to converge apps for both platforms starting late next year.

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New macOS versions make their first debuts at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conferences in June, followed immediately thereafter by beta releases, with final versions shipping each Fall.

Apple's vision is similar to what Microsoft Corp. tried to achieve with the Universal Windows Platform. The app has since been pulled off the store but Apple has refused to comment on the issue, CNET reports. The search engine company brought the Playmobile app store to some laptops running on desktop Chrome OS.

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Marzipan may be more like Rosetta, the platform Apple includes with earlier versions of macOS so users could still run macOS 9 applications.

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