A new era of Frankensoftware is upon us

“Last week’s announcement that Apple intends to make it easy for developers to create Mac variants of iPhone apps became something of a matter of semantics,” Lauren Goode writes for Wired. “Would it ever merge the two operating systems? Are the apps being ported to macOS? They’re certainly not being emulated.”

“But Apple’s move signals a larger trend in consumer tech. Big-name device makers are looking closely at the technologies running on their most successful hardware offerings and finding ways to incorporate that magic into the rest of their products. The shift is driven partly by the popularity of mobile apps and touchscreens, industry insiders say, but also by emerging technologies like voice assistants,” Goode writes. “In their earliest implementations, these Frankensoftware solutions can be confusing or downright janky. Mobile app windows running on your computer might not size properly, interactions feel forced, and your tablet or TV screen might actually have to switch between user interfaces while you’re tapping or barking. (Remember Windows 8?)”

MacDailyNews Take: No, thank Jobs.

“But these software experiments also hold the promise of being able to use the apps or input methods you want, whenever you want to use them. And it could potentially make things a lot easier for developers, who have often had to build separate versions of their apps for each new platform as it emerges,” Goode writes. “Frankensoftware might seem like the wretched experiment… but from now on, most every connected thing you buy is going to have a little bit of something else in it. And once the companies making those things figure out a way to make these interactions effortless, it won’t seem like such a bad thing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The rough edges will be sanded away as “Frankensoftware” is refined into simply “software” soon enough.

What we described 3½ years ago is finally starting to come to fruition!

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’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 think that there are a few, and just a few, apps from the iPhone that would run just fine on the Mac. Twitter and MLB’s At Bat would work just fine. Typing in 280 characters would be just fine in the window area of a iPhone screen on a Mac. At Bat’s scores, “gameday”, box scores, video clips, and radio interface would work well.

    In contrast, Well Fargo’s app would be a disaster on a Mac.

  2. I thought the whole point of what Apple is doing is to make sure apps adapt and run correctly on both platforms, things such as window sizing, and how the interface looks and works. Assuming Apple does it right and people follow their guidelines, most of these Franken-problems should be non-issues.

  3. In some cases, the business logic of the application is way more complex than the user interface and developers can start by working on the part of the app that is 100% portable. Then working on different UIs when it represents only a smart portion of the overall effort can be a reasonable investment if it delivers a better user experience. Not everyone will need Marzipan to bring their iOS app to the Mac.

  4. My dongle works on PCs, Macs and Androids. It’s ambisexual. Whatever the UI, my dongle just plugs right in.

    I’m artistic in that way, you know. Oh la la!

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