Apple Plans to Let Developers Release Universal Apps That Work Across iPhone, iPad, and Mac by 2021, SDK Coming This June

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Apple aims to allow developers to release universal apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac by 2021, according to a new report today by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

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.
According to Gurman, Apple plans to let developers port iPad apps to Mac using a new software development kit that the company will release as early as June at WWDC. Apple previewed the apps plan, without disclosing the road map, at its developers conference last year.

Apple typically previews the next major versions of its iOS and macOS operating systems at WWDC in June, with beta versions of each platform available to developers and public testers until September, so it stands to reason that an SDK for universal apps should begin rolling out in the pre-release software.
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.
The "Marzipan" project is considered to be one of the biggest changes on Apple's roadmap, although Apple's plans are said to be "fluid" and could be altered, according to Gurman's sources.

When the idea of universal apps was first rumored in 2017, early speculation suggested that they were a harbinger of Apple's plans to create a unified operating system for all of its devices, but those rumors appear to have been unfounded. Apple has already said it won't combine iOS and macOS into a single operating system.

The work on universal apps aligns with Apple's preparations to start transitioning some Macs to its own chips as early as 2020. Apple's initiative, reportedly code named "Kalamata," is part of an effort to make Macs, iPhones, and iPads work more similarly and seamlessly together. Apple Macs currently use Intel chips but Apple already designs its own A-series chips found in iPhones and iPads.

Apple is planning to hold its annual software conference from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, California, based on permit filings uncovered by MacRumors.

Article Link: Apple Plans to Let Developers Release Universal Apps That Work Across iPhone, iPad, and Mac by 2021, SDK Coming This June
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,974
3,893
Hopefully that will not be too much effort with an existing iPhone / iPad compatible application.
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Good but why not just create 1 store?
Because there will always be iOS apps not running on macOS, and there will always be macOS apps not running on iOS. You would want macOS users with an Android phone to find your app, wouldn't you?
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
It would be trivial to put an iOS and Intel chip in the same device so each can run native apps. Heck why not add a G4 compatible chip too to revive all those traditional Mac apps. Nice add-on price upgrade pros would buy.

Most rumor mongers assume Apple will make an A-20 or something with wintel compatible silicon as well as iOS compatible and MacOS compatible silicon. Apple has had computers that run multiple OS's for decades now.

Anyone remember project Star Trek?
 
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randian

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2014
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Most rumor mongers assume Apple will make an A-20 or something with wintel compatible silicon as well as iOS compatible and MacOS compatible silicon.
Why would Apple do their own x86 clone? Intel spends billions on x86 development which Apple can't leverage if they do their own. Does Apple even have an x86 architecture license?
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,761
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It would be trivial to put an iOS and Intel chip in the same device so each can run native apps.
I think your definition of trivial is fairly non-standard :)
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Why would Apple do their own x86 clone? Intel spends billions on x86 development which Apple can't leverage if they do their own. Does Apple even have an x86 architecture license?
Yep, the license is a big limitation. A much more likely path for Apple is to have an offline x86 to ARM64 bytecode compiler. They already have the tech for this (LLVM). And it can't be a coincidence that Aarch64 basic data types and alignments are identical to Intel's.
 
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Morgenland

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2009
790
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Scary.

The attempt to merge iOS and macOS is tempting for simple and lazy brains.
So far, GUI programmers and hardware experts have successfully resisted it.

marketing, with its windy and naive ideas, is trolling in marzipanland again?

Intelligent investors come to horror...
 
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gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
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It would be trivial to put an iOS and Intel chip in the same device so each can run native apps.
Putting two chips in the same device, running at the same time, that wouldn't be just non-trivial, that would be a major challenge. It would also be totally unnecessary. You can compile iOS apps for macOS right now, which most iOS developers do for testing purposes.
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Scary.

The attempt to merge iOS and macOS is tempting for simple and lazy brains.
So far, programmers and technicians have successfully resisted it.
Is APPLE marketing, with its windy and naive ideas, trolling in marzipanland again?

Intelligent investors come to horror...
You are completely off to the wrong direction here. This isn't about "simple and lazy brains". This is about making gazillions of apps available to macOS users at minimal cost for developers. Because if it isn't minimum cost, then a company has to justify paying a full-time macOS developer to port an application, and that is a huge cost that you need to justify. If this technology works, my company might need to invest a month of my time to get a version of their code for macOS (which would be a lot cheaper than creating a Windows or Linux version), and it may happen.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,761
5,259
The day macOS finally succumbs to their closed loop, I’m out. All I ever saw the Mac App Store as was them testing the waters to see if they could get away with it. I honestly still refuse to use it.
According to people like you, the macOS "is succumbing" since at least 2010 and there is still no "closed loop" in sight.

The attempt to merge iOS and macOS is tempting for simple and lazy brains.
So far, GUI programmers and hardware experts have successfully resisted it.
As a programmer, I welcome a unified responsive UI framework with a wide embrace. Nobody is talking about merging iOS and macOS. It's about having consistent tools to work with. The underlaying tech below the iOS and macOS UI is already the same and has been so for years. The different frontend framework however don't make much sense and are confusing.

If you want an example where it works great, look at Web. For some reason they can use same tech to make both mobile and desktop sites and do it great. That is what responsive design is all about. Right now, most of the code is reused between iOS and macOS apps anyway, but idiosyncratic differences between the UI frameworks make developing them more difficult than it has to be.
 

ike1707

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2009
404
830
According to people like you
Sure- people. like. me.

I didn’t say it panned out that way, or that it was even true. I am still under the impression that if they could, they would. Thanks for the civil exchange. :rolleyes:
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,761
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Sure- people. like. me.

I didn’t say it panned out that way, or that it was even true. I am still under the impression that if they could, they would. Thanks for the civil exchange. :rolleyes:
My apologies if I was impolite. There is simply a recurrent rhetorics of "Apple is dumbing down the Mac" I've been witnessing over last 10 or so, with its adherents singling out certain security features and streamlining attempts to show their point, while ignoring everything else. Apologies again that I lashed out without thinking.
 

hinchesk

macrumors member
Nov 29, 2007
98
1
Canada
I wonder why it took so long.
Agreed. Streamline app dev always made sense. Not so sure about multiple CPUs or combining the OSes (as Microsoft shown us).

I wonder why it’s taking so long to get iOS games on the Apple TV. Hopefully this project makes that easier too but there needs to be more done. Best idea I can think of is bundle a controller in the the 64Gb Apple TV with a minimal price bump, make it a better value proposition. They need to get more controllers out there, that’s step one. Step two is make it as easy as possible to migrate iOS games to Apple TV.
 
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Janichsan

macrumors 68000
Oct 23, 2006
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Because there will always be iOS apps not running on macOS, and there will always be macOS apps not running on iOS. You would want macOS users with an Android phone to find your app, wouldn't you?
I don't think I get your point. The unified App Store would still run under macOS. Currently, there are already apps which run on iPads but not on iPhones in the iOS app store, and iOS apps cannot be found when you use your Mac.

This should give us terrible Mac apps. Marzipan should be gaming only?
...which gives us terrible Mac games.

Putting two chips in the same device, running at the same time, that wouldn't be just non-trivial, that would be a major challenge.
And yet, it has been done in the past. To name just a few examples:In the late days of the Amiga, there were expansions boards with 68k and PPC CPUs, and Nintendo regularly releases gaming systems which are backward compatible to their predecessors due to dual types of CPUs.
 
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pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
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Microsoft is still struggling with UWP. Let’s see how Apple does it. It would be interesting. The only downside is we won’t have a great keynote performance anymore like the intel transition one. The greatest showman had passed.

The end of the Mac as a platform for good UI then.

The Marzipan apps included with Mojave are flat out terrible.

Apple's arguments against a touchscreen Mac look pretty thin in light of this.
Nothing here has anything to do with touch screen on Mac argument. Apple News app is an example. Heck, look at Windows 10 apps where touch screen is not really a must.
 
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The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,822
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Microsoft is still struggling with UWP. Let’s see how Apple does it. It would be interesting. The only downside is we won’t have a great keynote performance anymore like the intel transition one. The greatest showman had passed.


Nothing here has anything to do with touch screen on Mac argument. Apple News app is an example. Heck, look at Windows 10 apps where touch screen is not really a must.
Indeed. The Apple News app is an example, of how porting a touchscreen UI and framework to the desktop does not work, because the app is terrible.
 
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