Apple Said to Target Combining iPhone, iPad and Mac Apps by 2021


The new initiative is part of Apple's plan to simplify, overhaul, and to encourage app development among developers.

In addition to the first public notes on Marzipan, Apple may be considering a product announcement for WWDC in June. The company may debut an SDK later this year that will allow developers to port iPad apps to Mac computers. At that time Apple also announced it would release tools to let devs port their iPad apps to the Mac in 2019.

The SDK would then expand in 2020 to allow iPhone apps to be ported to Mac apps, though this is considered more challenging due to the large difference between screen sizes.

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.

Previous year at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2018, the company previewed a framework that allows developers to port iOS apps to macOS.

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That would be a huge deal for Apple's legions of app developers, as it would become significantly easier to create apps for Apple's platforms. If the full merge is accomplished successfully, developers would ideally be able to submit one application that appears in each app store automatically.

We first heard about Marzipan back in 2017, but this is the first hint of Apple's tentative schedule for its rollout and application. Complete with an SDK for developers to test out.

The work coincides with the company's preparations to merge more of the underpinnings of its hardware.

Despite the app merger plan, Apple has said it won't combine iOS and macOS into a single operating system. The future App Store with Marzipan, along with other services like iCloud, Apple Music, and the company's forthcoming TV streaming service, will contribute to Apple's goal of growing its services business (which hit $10 billion in revenue at the end of the 2018 fiscal year). Before Microsoft Corp discontinued Windows for phones, it pushed a technology called Universal Windows Platform that let developers create single applications that would run on all of its devices.

Those in attendance, of course, will also get access to an initial preview of iOS 13, which is said to include an official Dark Mode, new iPad-specific features, and inclusions aimed at overhauling productivity.