iOS  –  macOS: What Apple’s ‘No’ actually means

“Instead of a Swiss Army Knife OS working on Mac, iPads, and iPhones, Apple just previewed a bridge that’s supposed to let iOS apps cross the OS chasm,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note. “One rumor died, replaced by speculation about Apple’s intentions for the iOS apps porting tool.”

“At Apple’s WWDC18 (its conference for app developers) held last week in San José, CA, Sr VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi pounded the stage, Finally™ putting an end to the magnetic rumor of a hybrid iOS-macOS operating system: ‘No,'” Gassée writes. “Having closed one door, Federighi hastened to open a new one. Instead of an OS chimera, Apple’s software chief announced a bridge between the two related but incompatible software worlds.”

“As it turns out, last year’s Marzipan project rumors, which predicated exactly this state of affairs, were accurate,” Gassée writes. “The arrangement will benefit everyone: iOS developers will find new customers on the Mac, customers who pay multiples of $10 vs single digits for iOS apps; Mac users will be given a wider choice of apps; and Apple gets a livelier macOS store. That’s the idea, anyway. Some nuances may apply… iOS apps such as News, Stocks, and Home ported to macOS are nice, but, again, I don’t see a stampede of iOS apps crossing the bridge to macOS, not enough to move the Mac volume needle. This leaves us with two possibilities. Either the UIKit move is a titillating but unimportant sideshow, or it’s part of a larger hardware plan for the Mac.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Interim step on the way to Apple A-series-based Macs?

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

Craig Federighi doesn’t see a touchscreen Mac in the future – June 6, 2018
Apple’s Craig Federighi details how iOS apps will run on Macs – June 5, 2018
How Apple might approach an ARM-based Mac – May 30, 2018
Will the 2019 Mac Pro be powered by an Apple ARM-based chip? – April 6, 2018
Project Marzipan: Can Apple succeed where Microsoft failed? – December 21, 2017
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
Apple, a semiconductor superpower in the making, looks to build their own ARM-based processors for Macs – September 29, 2017
On the future of Apple’s Macintosh – February 6, 2017
Apple’s Craig Federighi explains why there is no touchscreen Mac – November 1, 2016


  1. I seriously hope Apple gives developers reasons to develop their apps for both Mac and iOS, especially apps that, on Mac, are simply web apps, rather than actual native ones, like Facebook and Twitter. That’d be the best accessibility push ever, since iOS apps tend to be more accessible, although that doesn’t translate to usability, than Android, thus ChromeOS as well.


  2. I think certain games might translate well between environments — at least the more in-depth sort of game play. The quick-while-I’m-bored stuff might not translate very well especially when touch input is a big part of what makes it fun.

    There are thousands of utilitarian apps that will be awesome to have on a Mac and I’ve often wondered why they weren’t. Turns out, the barrier to creating the Mac version was the time investment for a relatively small installed base compared to iOS. If they can truly bridge that gap, it could open up a flood gate of useful software for the Mac virtually overnight.

    1. With iPad and iPhone making strong inroads into the enterprise, the big door opener would be for Macs running iOS, something the enterprise is already supporting.

      So instead of the enterprise having to support Windows, MacOS, and iOS they would only have to support Windows and iOS, making the transition to Macs even easier and cost effective as many of their Windows programs have already been ported to iOS for use on iPads and iPhones.

      1. You offer a very dim view of businesses abandoning macOS altogether.
        IMHO, two benefits of opening UIKit for Mac development could be:
        – businesses will have an incentive to actually support macOS more than in the past
        – on software sites, there will be more developer buzz about libraries/frameworks that are not solely advertised as being iOS-only

  3. I’m sure there are a few that would enjoy working their micro-transaction magic in a window on a Mac instead of having to pull out their phone or have it sitting next to them. Especially if they should really be working 🙂

    Time for Apple to cure Mac addiction? Actually, they’re already doing a good job there and don’t need help.

  4. “Interim step on the way to Apple A-series-based Macs?”

    The benefit to iOS developers is very small if any. On the other hand, if Apple were thinking of merging the 2 OSs because of a shift from Intel to A-Series, this would be the way to do it.

    We will know in about 2 years with an announcement, then there will be a 5 year transition with both OSs running at the same time ala 68K to PPC and PPC to Intel.

    I’m thinking Apple believes that in 2 years A-Series will equal or even surpass Intel processors in performance. If they were planning to drop Intel in the future this would be the natural first of many steps

    With Apple’s success of late, breaking into the enterprise, with iPhone and iPad I can see the logic in doing this.

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