Craig Federighi Talks Bringing iOS Apps to macOS, Reiterates No Plans for Touchscreen Macs

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In a new interview with Wired today, Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi discussed yesterday's WWDC keynote, particularly touching upon the company's years-long plan to bring some iOS apps to macOS. In a memorable keynote moment, when Federighi mentioned users constantly asking if Apple would merge iOS and macOS, a giant "No" appeared on screen behind him.

    However, the company did detail a plan to take key framework elements from iOS and UIKit and adapt them for macOS, resulting in tools that will let third-party developers easily port iPhone and iPad apps to Mac in 2019. In the interview, Federighi again explained that right now the plan is not to build a single Apple Operating System, but to begin testing out the updated UIKit tools in its own apps for Home, News, Stocks, and Voice Memos, coming in macOS Mojave later this year.


    Naturally, when news about iOS apps appearing on macOS emerges, people begin to wonder again about a touchscreen MacBook. Federighi quickly shot down that idea -- which has surfaced again and again over the years -- by saying he's "not into touchscreens" on desktop computers, and likely never will be. He also mentioned that Apple doesn't see touchscreen-enabled laptops as rivals.
    Back on the topic of the iOS/macOS update, Federighi said that instead of these tools being emulators, Apple's plan is building a software framework for iPhone that can be brought over to Mac and "made native" to Mac. Parts of this porting process will be automated, "like turning a long press on iOS into a two-finger click on a Mac," but extra coding is predicted for UI items like menus and sidebars.
    In terms of potential games to make this leap, Federighi mentioned Epic's Fortnite as a likely candidate for porting, and he also stated that websites like IMDB, Yelp, and DirecTV could gain native desktop Mac apps. While these websites could have macOS apps now, the current toolset for developers is "just more work," Wired pointed out, and Apple's new UIKit update in macOS Mojave should make the process a bit simpler.

    It's not currently clear when the new tools will be ready for third-party developers, but it appears it will take some time as Federighi suggested we will hear more about the project at WWDC 2019.

    Article Link: Craig Federighi Talks Bringing iOS Apps to macOS, Reiterates No Plans for Touchscreen Macs
  2. CerebralX macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2013
    Looking for a place of freedom and rationality
    Good. I've got two friends who own touch screen windows laptops (XPS 13 and HP some model I don't remember). They both never use it and when you do use it, it leaves dirty finger prints and makes the screen wobble. It's useless on a laptop. Leave it for tablets and phones.
  3. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    I honestly applaud Apple for doing the correct approach by keeping MacOS / iOS separate while providing incentive for developers to port their iOS apps over to the Mac.

    Just wish it didn't have to come at the expense of deprecating OpenGL and casting out a lot of capable older hardware.
  4. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2017
    "Even though the apps are effectively being shared between operating systems, Federighi emphasized that your Mac won't start behaving like an iPhone. "It's still macOS, you still have the Terminal, you can still attach four monitors to it, you can still hook up external drives," he said."

  5. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Perhaps this wouldn’t be as big an issue if the iPad Pro had more macOS features. For instance, features from iTunes such as changing song properties. I’m sure eventually both platforms will reach feature-parity, or be closer to each other at the very least. Certainly the four apps being ported from iOS to macOS is a good step.
  6. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Fortnite already has a macOS version, Craig.

    I don’t care about touchscreen macs either, but I also don’t get the fatigue argument. The iPad with a keyboard has the same ergonomics. And that LEGO AR demo looked way more fatiguing.
  7. DavidBlack macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2013
    Somewhere In Apple's HQ ;)
    I never thought about that until now. You make a good point
  8. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    He can’t use touch screen notebook ergonomics as an excuse when the iPad Pro has been doing the same thing for 3 years. While mouse support may be coming in iOS 13, it’ll still be the same setup as a touchscreen Mac. If anything, it’s less ergonomic since the screen angle cannot be adjusted.

    He says the Mac won’t start behaving like an iOS device, the current ports are basically the iPad experience, with oversized elements. Clearly made for touch, so hopefully there are tools to assist in making the UI elements more suited to a non-touch system.
  9. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I'm pretty excited about this because it means more apps for the Mac. But will the reverse be true? Could we get more professional apps on the iPad because of this system? If so, this could solve a lot of problems for Mac and iPad users—especially those of us who like to jump between using both for design, photography, development, drawing, etc.
  10. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    How many times ? You see Tim announce it on stage, you see talks with Craig and Scott sometimes too, (perhaps on the same discussion), and people still wanna know.

    I thought the days of the internet, word spread quickly.....,... I guess not in this time frame. I suppose we are all looking at the other manufactures...

    What's wrong with a company that chooses to go its own direction and not play ball anyway? I'd actually praise Apple for doing that... We don't always have to follow. But just because everyone did with TouchID eventually as well automatically means now Apple's head in on the block ?
  11. moabal macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2010
    Well so far the testing is horrible. I keep getting a UIKitSystem Quit Unexpectedly error whenever I try to open one of those apps. Anyone else getting this?
  12. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    Right, but using a different toolset than iOS.
    If the toolset is shared across devices, it’s less work for the developer.
  13. Made In Machines macrumors member

    Made In Machines

    Jul 30, 2015
    Clearly hasn't seen 2-in-1 laptops or the surface book designs? They manage to solve all 'ergonomic issues'. Have you seen the new Asus with a touchscreen pad? They all leave your touch bar effort in the dust. Talking about ergonomics - how are your keyboard lawsuits going?
  14. thenewyorkgod macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2011
  15. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    A risk is the Mac being flooded with one horse iOS apps which won't take advantage of the extra power a laptop/desktop brings. Developers writing iOS apps for Mac, instead of "real" native apps.
  16. coolbreeze macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2003

    "We really feel that the ergonomics of using a Mac are that your hands are rested on a surface, and that lifting your arm up to poke a gimmicky touchbar is a pretty fatiguing thing to do," he said.

    Also, iOS apps on a non-touchscreen Mac = usability nightmare.

    Someone is being disingenuous here.
  17. DoogH macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2011
    Not really. The keyboard is an optional accessory. At it's core, the iPad is still a content consumption device, not a content creation device.
  18. itguy06 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2006
    I use it all the time on my HP laptop. So much so that 1/2 the time I'm on my work laptop I want to touch it. Same with the wife's Macbook Air. The fingerprint nonsense is just that - no different than the same on an iPad, iPhone, or any other mobile device.

    Craig just ensured I stay on Windows.
  19. DoogH macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2011
    The touch bar is hardly different than function keys, which are not fatiguing, no.

    If your primary mode of input was to raise your arm, it would be exhausting.
  20. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    If you can have a separate interface to target the Mac, there won't be any usability issues. There's separate Uis for iPad and iPhone already in iOS Apps.
  21. Janichsan macrumors 68000


    Oct 23, 2006
    Why would I want that? What is wrong with using, you know, the websites?

    Fortnite for Mac does use the same toolset as Fortnite for iOS: the Unreal Engine 4, which already has all necessary parts to create crossplatform applications.
  22. Neepman macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2008
    THIS. Times a zillion. We can now look forward to redirects from browsers to dedicated apps like yelp on our desktops for simple tasks like the hours of a friggin' restaurant.
  23. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    A game that already exists on both macOS and iOS.
  24. itguy06, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018

    itguy06 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2006
    Because Websites, you know suck.

    One thing I like about my Windows machines is the native Netflix app. It allows you to download content for offline viewing (like the iOS and Android apps). Unlike the phone apps, it's a simple matter of connecting an HDMI cable to a TV to watch wherever - No dongle needed!!! Or watch on a beautiful 15" screen. Can't do that on OS X as there is no Netflix app.
  25. JustinRP37 macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2016
    New York, NY
    This company just isn't the same. It is time for some fresh minds in Apple. A lot of the announcements are not great for the science community. I have been a hardcore Apple user for years, getting both labs that I have worked in to switch to mainly Apple. Sadly, Microsoft is becoming better and better while I just feel Apple is stagnant for the professional user.

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