Apple to provide tool for developers build cross-platform apps that run on iOS and macOS in 2018

“Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad introduced a novel way of interacting with computers: via easy-to-use applications, accessible in the highly curated App Store,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg. “The same approach hasn’t worked nearly as well on Apple’s desktops and laptops. The Mac App Store is a ghost town of limited selection and rarely updated programs. Now Apple plans to change that by giving people a way to use a single set of apps that work equally well across its family of devices: iPhones, iPads and Macs.”

“Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it’s running on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware, according to people familiar with the matter,” Gurman reports. “Apple customers have long complained that some Mac apps get short shrift. For example, while the iPhone and iPad Twitter app is regularly updated with the social network’s latest features, the Mac version hasn’t been refreshed recently and is widely considered substandard. With a single app for all machines, Mac, iPad and iPhone users will get new features and updates at the same time.”

“Apple currently plans to begin rolling out the change as part of next fall’s major iOS and macOS updates, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. The secret project, codenamed ‘Marzipan,’ is one of the tentpole additions for next year’s Apple software road map,” Gurman reports. “Theoretically, the plan could be announced as early as the summer at the company’s annual developers conference if the late 2018 release plan remains on track.”

“Apple’s apps initiative is part of a larger, longer-term push to make the underpinnings of its hardware and software more similar. Several years ago, the company began designing its own processors for iOS devices,” Gurman reports. “It has started doing the same for the Mac, recently launching a T2 chip in the iMac Pro that offloads features like security and power management from the main Intel processor onto Apple-designed silicon. Much the way Apple plans to unify apps, it could also one day use the same main processor on Macs and iOS devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What did we write four years ago? Oh, yeah:

Think code convergence (more so than today) with UI modifications per device. A unified underlying codebase for Intel, Apple A-series, and, in Apple’s labs, likely other chips, too (just in case). This would allow for a single App Store for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users that features a mix of apps: Some that are touch-only, some that are Mac-only, and some that are universal (can run on both traditional notebooks and desktops as well as on multi-touch computers like iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and – pretty please, Apple – Apple TV). Don’t be surprised to see Apple A-series-powered Macs, either.MacDailyNews Take, January 9, 2014

The once and future OS for Apple – December 8, 2017
On the future of Apple’s Macintosh – February 6, 2017
Tim Bajarin: I see Apple moving many users to an iOS-based mobile device over the next 3-4 years – November 7, 2016
What comes after OS X? – January 9, 2014


  1. This will be easy win for game developers. Especially if the apps automatically install on all your devices.
    The big question is whether the incentive is big enough. With 60-90M iDevices vs. 5M Mac sold every quarter, developers may not see the advantage over the additional cost to support cross platform apps.

  2. „Mac App Store is a ghost town of limited selection and rarely updated programs“? What is that silly guy taking about? Thousands of great app, no hassle to install and update. Is he missing Word and Excel, or what? Stupid guy. Mac App Store is best place for apps. See Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, Ninox Database, to mention but a few.

      1. I wasn’t actually thinking of actual applications. But some activities can probably only be done on a desktop/laptop. Syncing drives, bulk finder renaming of files, moving huge video files around. Most people use computers for consumption or light creating. Others use computers for heavy production. They will always need a truck OS.

  3. But… but… CISC and RISC and Intel API’s!!

    As I’ve been saying, the only thing that matters is Apple has the skills to provide the development environment, the coding language AND the compiler to enable developers to run WHATEVER they want WHEREVER they want to.

    I can just see the ARM versus Intel bake offs now. Same code compiled for Intel and A(x) with Intel finishing ahead of A(x) when you’ve got an iMac or Mac Pro, but finishing BEHIND A(x) on everything consumer level.

  4. Come on Facebook, Google, Kik team, and the developer of Voice Dream Reader and Writer, give us some Mac apps! Hopefully the cost will stay the same, $100 per year for developing for Apple. Also hopefully the apps ported from iOS will still be accessible for Voiceover users. I’m sure it will; Apple’s accessibility API’s can’t be too different across platforms, although the actions rotor and menu will see a lot more usage on the Mac, lol.

  5. Apple is begging developers to design how to merge Mac OS with iOS because Apple hasn’t a clue how to do this. Apple is leaderless, clueless, and oblivious. Hey, Tim, what the f*ck are you doing? As little as possible, it seems. Do Apple a favor and resign.

    1. Holey Head, Fred.

      Calm the frick down. Apple’s plan proceeds as planned. Best iPhone sales yet about to be announced. New Macs this year, new iPhones. Best sales yet to come. A-Series Macs to come. iOS apps on Mac to come. It’s all great news. Your blither-blathering is sad, old, fake news. Sheesh! Get a life.

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