Apple will follow Microsoft in encouraging developers to build a single app that runs on both iOS and macOS, insiders claim, upending the current ecosystem in the name of cross-platform ubiquity. If developers must choose to devote resources to one or the other, the computer apps often get shortchanged.
With the new SDK features coming for the next major operating system releases, presumably named iOS 12 and macOS 10.14, this likely means Apple would announce the plans at the WWDC developer conference in June.
According to the sources, the project is known internally as "Marzipan" and will be a key element in Apple's 2018 software strategy. Unified iOS/macOS apps could then be offered on the Mac's version of the App Store, rejuvenating the rare Apple shop that has long resembled a ghost town.
With the would-be change, Apple is hoping the success of its mobile app business will rub off on its stagnant desktop app marketplace. The source noted, however, that Apple's "plans are still fluid", so dates could change or the plan could be canceled altogether. Additionally, Microsoft, before ditching Windows software for smartphones, allowed developers to create a single application that ran on different devices.
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ZDNet has reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post should we hear back. Google took an alternative approach, bringing Android app support and the Google Play Store to Chrome OS. Kon also demanded that Apple stop selling devices displaying the logo in question (which is, basically, any device with access to App Store) until judgement is delivered.
Bringing parity to the apps across both platforms will surely be a boost for developers. Will Apple go there?
That said, a more seamless cross-device experience would be a great for users. Around the same time, Apple software chief Craig Federighi called the blending of iOS and macOS "a compromise". And in a mobile-first world, that's increasingly iPhone and iPad apps.