Apple Still Expected to Allow iPhone and iPad Apps to Run on Macs Later This Year

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    While multiple reports suggest Apple has decided to place a greater focus on improving the performance and security of iOS and macOS, which will delay some new features until next year, it appears the company still aims to introduce the ability for Macs to run iPhone and iPad apps later this year.


    Mark Gurman and Ina Fried, reporting for Bloomberg News and Axios respectively, both claim the framework for combined apps remains on Apple's software roadmap for 2018, despite some planned iOS 12 features likely being pushed back to 2019, including a new home screen with a redesigned grid of app icons.

    Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi reportedly revealed the plans during a meeting with employees earlier this month.

    Last month, Gurman reported that developers will be able to design a single third-party app that works with both a touchscreen, and a mouse or trackpad, depending on whether it's running on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Apple would presumably also streamline its own apps on the desktop and mobile.

    The report didn't explain how all of this will work, but Apple could be planning to release a new SDK with new APIs that enable true cross-platform functionality. Right now, Apple's UIKit and AppKit frameworks provide the required infrastructure for iOS and macOS app user interfaces respectively.

    It's worth noting that Apple already has a private framework called UXKit, used for the Photos app on Mac. In 2015, Jason Snell said UXKit "sits above the Mac's familiar AppKit frameworks and strongly resembles UIKit on iOS."

    Apple tentatively plans to begin rolling out the change in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14, so there will likely be an announcement at WWDC 2018 around June. Following a few months of beta testing, major new versions of iOS and macOS are typically publicly released in September and October respectively.

    The project is reportedly codenamed "Marzipan" within Apple. Gurman speculated that universal apps would make it easier for Apple to one day create a single operating system for all of its devices, should it ever go down that avenue. At the very least, it could bring some renewed attention to Mac apps.

    Apple would be following in the footsteps of Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform, aimed at helping developers create universal apps that run across Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, the latter of which is being phased out.

    Article Link: Apple Still Expected to Allow iPhone and iPad Apps to Run on Macs Later This Year
  2. krause734 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
  3. Cesar Battistini macrumors regular

    Cesar Battistini

    May 16, 2017
    They won't follow the footsteps of a failed attempt. They will bring something new to the table! And it will work very well!
  4. centauratlas macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2003
    Fix the Photos/iTunes sync issue with large photo libraries and a lot of people will be happy. In short, this is a good move to concentrate on stability and performance.

    As far as the rest, don't spread the engineers too thin.
  5. ocnitsa macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2011
    So, are they going to eventually bring a cursor and bluetooth mouse support to iOS?
  6. lyngo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    I always thought that the old dashboard widgets from Mac OS X (macOS) might become a future iOS platform of some sorts. It’ll be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.
  7. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    Then will a touchscreen make sense on a laptop Apple???
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Well there you go. Looks like Apple is doing something I was not expecting.
  9. kilimanjaro macrumors newbie


    Nov 20, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
  10. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I know the article said that we do not know how this would work. But in most likelihood, will they be emulating iOS on the Mac? Or are they asking developers to port everything over to the Mac as a condition of staying in the app store?
  11. kkillam macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2011
    I really want the new home screen... It hasn’t had any change since the original iPhone OS and it’s getting old...
  12. Gunnilingus macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
    I feel like this is a rumor misinterpreted from another rumor. It was reported before that Apple would sell universal apps that worked cross platform. But this was in regard to licensing. Meaning, I buy fantastical on iOS and the Mac version is licensed to me as well with the same purchase.

    I don’t see Apple doing what this new rumor suggests.
  13. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
  14. maceric macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2015
    I've always loved Apple's products and how (mostly) they do things. But this now feels like a patched up bandaided response to how Windows 10 works. Apple has a patent on an OS that changes based on the orientation of the display… horizontal would be a touch interface, upright would be a desktop. But they need to make this one OS for all.
  15. newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    You sure you want something you haven’t seen?
  16. bice macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2015
  17. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    It will likely be with new Macs not yet announced.
  18. Vjosullivan macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2013
    Emulators for all iPads and iPhones have always been available on Macs care of Xcode.
  19. Vorkeyjones macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2016
    It's convenient for those who want to use their favourite apps on the Mac, but won't this discourage developers from making REAL Mac apps?
  20. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    One 'app' works across all platforms. No emulation required.

    The Mac OS app portion will be built to run on Mac OS. iOS 'app' will be built to run on iOS. The 'app' container just contains the Mac OS, and iOS app package.

    The UI will be built as appropriate for the different platforms. You won't be getting an iOS interface when running on Mac OS or vice versa.

    Nothing magic about this, its just about App distribution. One app container that will run against all platforms.
  21. Vjosullivan macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2013
    Not if it means dumbing down macOS to the level of iOS.
  22. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    Hope Apple nails this.

    It will give me an excuse to use my Mac again.
  23. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Why would it need to do that?
  24. PlayUltimate macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2016
    Boulder, CO
    Already have an iOS emulator built into Xcode. Might just need to do minor tweaks in MacOS to make this work. Sounds like this will not be beneficial to developers.
  25. ugahairydawgs, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018

    ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    How is unifying the developer framework of their apps dumbing down the Mac? The developer community for great Mac apps is constantly dwindling as more and more devs are shifting attention to mobile. Giving devs a framework to run apps cross platform will only push greater and more unified functionality regardless of whether you're running your phone, tablet or computer and open up a slew of new options for Mac users.

    This also moves Apple towards a potential reality where they can dump Intel as A-series chips become more and more powerful.

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