Apple plans to unify iPhone, iPad, Mac apps for one user experience

21 December, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Darren Santiago
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Apple is expected to roll out the tentpole feature with next fall's major iOS and macOS updates. Microsoft introduced the Universal Windows Platform in 2015 with Windows 10, which provides an opportunity for developers to create a single app that works on PCs, phones, mixed reality, Xbox One consoles, and more. The company will soon allow developers to design a single app that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad.

Common apps, possibly with a single App Store, could go a long way towards helping improve the situation in the Mac App Store, which has not done almost as well in terms of consumer reception and library of offerings compared to its iOS counterpart. Additionally, the Mac App Store is something I'd wager most users hardly ever open, except to install software updates.

Bloomberg warns that the plans are not set in stone, timings could change, and perhaps cancelled altogether. In a similar way, Apple could resurrect the arguably dying Mac App Store and bring future releases to a broader audience.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Apple will adopt this approach to improve the app selection for Mac users. Project Marzipan will let developers create a single app with an interface that adapts to the device it's running on.

Others, however, had a more positive view, even while acknowledging that it could be a hard transition for Mac developers in particular.

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. For example, the Twitter app on iOS includes the latest features, while the Mac version has not seen a refresh recently.

According to the sources, the project is known internally as "Marzipan" and will be a key element in Apple's 2018 software strategy.

Would you welcome universal Apple apps? And in a mobile-first world, that's increasingly iPhone and iPad apps.

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