A new report from Bloomberg today (Dec. 20) suggests that Apple is planning to tie together the development process for apps on its iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer platforms. "It's the difference between a rich, modern Mac-app ecosystem, or a lot of potential Mac apps not existing at all or being relegated to shitty web/Electron apps".
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.
Apple's app system changes would follow Microsoft.
Apple is working on merging its iOS and Mac apps in 2018, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Right now, developers have to create apps for both platforms, forcing developers to make a decision of whether or not to maintain two different apps. And that's why Apple is reportedly calling an audible.
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The idea of a universal platform is nothing new. Apple's plans are still fluid, the people said, so the implementation could change or the project could still be cancelled.
Microsoft has been trying this exact same thing with Universal Windows Platform apps for a while now, allowing developers to create apps that run across Windows, Windows phones, the Xbox, HoloLens, and even the Surface Hub. This will likely help bolster the offerings in their macOS App Store which is languishing behind its iOS sibling. SAP SE, IBM Corp. and several other big names have partnered with the iPhone maker in recent years to develop business apps for iOS.
According to insider sources, the same app will be able to respond to a mouse, a touch pad or a touch screen, depending on the device it's being run on. Similarly, Google has brought the Play mobile app store to some laptops running its desktop Chrome OS, letting computer users run smartphone and tablet apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. They also advised the iPhone and iPad users to avoid downloading or purchasing the game at all cost despite "Cuphead" not being available on the device.