Project Marzipan: Can Apple succeed where Microsoft failed?

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reports that Apple plans to give developers a way to create a single app that will work across both iOS and macOS. Apps will be able to support a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad, depending on the hardware,” Mark Hibben writes for Sekking Alpha. “Currently, there is some overlap between iOS and macOS, since the former was derived from the latter, but in crucial areas, such as user interface, the operating systems diverge. Developers of an iOS app who want to create a macOS version must rewrite a substantial portion of the app’s code.”

“Apple has clung to the view that there is no place in macOS for a touchscreen, while the Windows world has featured them for years. Yet Apple has pursued its own sort of convergence, making macOS and iOS more similar in key user interface features, as well as in underlying software and hardware technologies,” Hibben writes. “For instance, iOS 11 now features an app Dock very similar to the macOS 10.13 Dock. Underlying both operating systems is a new file system called APFS. And macOS has had ‘full screen’ app capability for some time, which makes macOS apps look and feel more like their iOS counterparts.”

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t forget the lovely Launchpad which sits in our Mac Docks, ignored like a red-headed stepchild. This article made us click it for the first time this year.

“On the hardware side, Apple began endowing its Macs with a special custom Apple chip that replicates the features of Secure Enclave, which is built into the SOC of every iOS device,” Hibben writes. “The first version of this chip, the T1, was introduced with the touch bar MacBook Pros. A second version, the T2, is present in the new iMac Pro.”

“Despite various signs of convergence, Apple has stopped well short of Microsoft, which developed the Universal Windows Platform (UWP)… It hasn’t greatly boosted developer support of the Windows app store. And it didn’t salvage Windows Phone,” Hibben writes. “Apple has much the same problem, but in reverse. Apple already has a curated, well controlled, and profitable app store for iOS. Transplanting this to macOS hasn’t been easy… Apple could afford to leave well enough alone, except that it probably has two long range objectives. The first is to channel all software development through its own app stores, including that for macOS. The second is to further unify the hardware platforms by having macOS devices use Apple’s ARM SOCs rather than Intel ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, as Steve Jobs himself said many years ago, Apple has always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything they do.

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

Apple is working to unite iOS and macOS; will they standardize their chip platform next? – December 21, 2017
Why Apple would want to unify iOS and Mac apps in 2018 – December 20, 2017
Apple to provide tool for developers build cross-platform apps that run on iOS and macOS in 2018 – December 20, 2017
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


    1. Trouble is Windows 10 is a big fat pile of steaming horse manure, Microsoft may well pull off convergence creating a core operating system that works on multiple device types, but a t*rd is a t*rd no matter how you dress it up.

        1. Turd-dude, you are really obnoxious and horrible. Hyperbole is your middle name. W10 is slimy garbage, you obviously eat it every day and have become flat and bloated.

          Trondud is a trondud. Sad.

  1. The second is to further unify the hardware platforms by having macOS devices use Apple’s ARM SOCs rather than Intel

    Which of course has never been anything more than faerie land dreaming.

    Tossing an Apple A-Series RISC CPU into Macs, along side the required Intel x86 platform CPU opens some very interesting horizons. Sadly, the RAM provided so far for the A-Series chips in Macs is dead minimum, inspiring no confidence in iOS apps running natively on Macs.

    As for the idea of mixed platform apps, that could work! But note that these apps would likely be:

    A) Hobbled when it came to proprietary Intel x86 APIs, such as virtualization…. (Please do your own homework for a list of other examples).

    B) Significantly different in API access and functionality between Mac and iOS versions.

    C) Bloated in file size, which would be of significance on iOS devices.

    The above is only off-the-top-of-my-head stuff. Please add to my list and/or add commentary.

    This transformation would also take a number of years as oldie Macs take their usual sweet time becoming out-of-date or antiquated. (One reason Macs consistently cost less than comparable Windows boxes is their excellent Return On Investment, demonstrated by their long lifetimes use usable devices in the field). 😀

    1. The only consumer level home computer I remember that had implemented 2 separate CPUs sharing the same data bus and resources was the Commodore 128. It had the 8502 (1Mhz emulation of 6510) for C64 tasks and (2Mhz) for C128 and, the Z80 for CP/M. On the surface you couldn’t run both at the same time, but there were hacks that allowed you to run the Z80 as a co-processor. Amazing machine.

  2. If you think Apple is just now working on this tech, you are naive. They think on it since iPhone came alone because Steve Jobs knew Mac/iPhone/iPad are just devices that can coexist/cannibalise/morph under the Apple/OS umbrella.

  3. Universal Windows Platform (UWP) or better known as S.H.I.T

    Apple has only one operating system and it is OS X.
    Then it has 4 GUI´s

    Then there is GUI for the servers and terminal for the Macs.

  4. Another long-term benefit – third-party software that has the same capabilities in both iOS and macOS, e.g., MS Excel and Word. For those of us forced to use them, the iOS versions just don’t have all the features we need/use. BTW, neither do Numbers and Pages, in addition to being useless if your clients use MS Office and want to proof-read, track changes, etc… in original document format (instead of marking up a PDF, or being sent to iCloud – and the conversion between MS and Apple apps is far from foolproof – not good enough to pass to a client. I hate MS Office, use Pages/Numbers/Keynote for personal use, but must use MS Office, with all its features for work. For more serious personal work (research papers and books) I use more serious products like Mellel, Bookends and Scrivener. For many uses Pages is great, but it is missing features that ease the creation of highly notated, chaptered documents. It’s not meant to be all things to all people.

    If MS Office worked with full functionality in iOS, an iPad Pro would become much more attractive to me. I would still use a 27″ iMac for much of my research/analysis/writing work, as the extra screen real estate is needed. I use macOS’ multiple desktops and split screens extensively (no room or money for multiple physical screens).

    1. Yep. Who uses pages and number in a corporate environment? Practically nobody, it’s a Microsoft world in that respect. Anybody that tells you different has their head up their ass and does not know what the hell they are talking about.

  5. I really wish Apple would not have such a negative view of touchscreens on a Mac. I’ve run SP4 for awhile (I know, I know, waiting for the flames) and found it to be an enhancement to the touchpad and mouse, not a detriment. You can either use it or not, or a combination of both. Why the myopic view on a desktop or laptop? Give your users the choice.

    1. Trondud admits using the steaming pile of Wincrap. Flames are deserved, you are a scumhole flaming Apple users on an Apple site, and deserve to be dudded like the Trondud you are.

  6. I copied this from an earlier post on another thread, RE touch interface, convergences etc.
    “All of the apps that I use to make a good part of my living, web design specializing in HTML5 timeline based motion graphics require a precision selection device.

    My mouse cursor is small enough and precise enough to do that. My fingers never will be.

    By the same token, adding text requires an actual keyboard, the last Apple keyboard that fit my needs was the old Apple wired keyboard with tall, not flat keys. I still have one, you can only buy them used.

    Its been all downhill from that point.

    Fine, throw all that code necessary for touch interfaces on Macs, but few creative content users will have any use for, just hope it doesn’t get in the way. I wouldnt mind a touch sensitive brush control for apps like Photoshop or Pixelmator, but let us use an iPad interfaced with our Macs for that.

    Othewise, who cares.”

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