Speculative question: iOS Message apps on macOS?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by mark-vdw, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. mark-vdw macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2013
    Question for people with better understanding of the technical underpinnings of iOS Message apps.

    I've heard people complain that Apple didn't build in app support for macOS messages, but this seems to me more a business challenge than a real technical challenge: if Apple were to create a macOS Messages app store, they'd need developers to do extra work for a relatively small target market, which probably wouldn't fly. But if they could somehow enable apps (stickers, ...) developed for iOS Messsages to run on macOS messages, that problem wouldn't exist.

    So, my question: how complex would it be for Apple to enable that? How big are the technical hurdles for taking an iOS targetted tic-tac-toe app and deploying it on macOS without requiring extra work from the developer?
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    My long-time theory is that Apple is using iOS to test out new features. That is the source of the perceived 'neglect' of the desktop OS. The thing is, the mobile OS is much more volatile. As people upgrade often and apps are updated more often, Apple can make more radical changes. This makes the mobile platform a perfect testbed for new APIs, ideas and frameworks. I beleive we might see Messages extensions on macOS next year, after Apple implements the improvements they might come up with through iOS 10.
  3. mark-vdw thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2013
    I totally agree with that theory. But in the case of Messages extensions on macOS, it's not just a matter of Apple waiting a year, there's a big ecosystem challenge there as well.

    If they implement Messages extensions on macOS next year in such a way that requires the developers to do extra work to get their iOS extensions to macOS, then I think such an extra platform that would be pretty much dead on arrival. The messaging market for macOS is much too small to receive the same kind of enthusiastic reaction that iOS has seen. So I was wondering if Apple might try to enable iOS message extensions to run natively on macOS without additional developer effort. But I don't know how big the technical hurdles for such a construction would be, and am hoping someone here might.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I didn't look into how messages extensions work on iOS, so I can't comment on it. If those are just assets collections, I see no principal hurdle here. If they contain executable code, it might be more tricky.

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3 September 21, 2016