Apple is working to make it easier for software developers to create universal applications for its iOS and macOS lineups. The move is designed to encourage app development for all of Apple’s device platforms.
The ultimate goal of the multistep initiative, code-named “Marzipan,” is by 2021 to help developers build an app once and have it work on the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, said people familiar with the effort. That should spur the creation of new software, increasing the utility of the company’s gadgets.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says Apple plans to allow developers port iPad apps to the Mac with a new software development kit that could debut as soon as June at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple first previewed the planned SDK at last year’s WWDC event.
Developers will still need to submit separate versions of the app to Apple’s iOS and Mac App Stores, but the new kit will mean they don’t have to write the underlying software code twice, said the people familiar with the plan. In 2020, Apple plans to expand the kit so iPhone applications can be converted into Mac apps in the same way.
Although the “Marzipan” project is one of the biggest upcoming changes in Apple’s roadmap, the plans are said to be “fluid,” and could be changed, says Gurman’s sources.
When the idea of a universal app platform was first floated in 2017, some speculated it was just the first step toward Apple’s creating a unified operating system that would run on all of its devices. However, Apple has long maintained that it will not be unifying iOS and macOS into a single OS.
Apple is reportedly preparing to start transitioning some of its Mac lineup to its own CPUs as early as 2020. The “Kalamata” initiative is said to be part of an effort to make Macs and iOS devices work more seamlessly together. Macs currently use Intel chips. Apple uses its own A-series chips in its iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices.