Published: Fri, February 22, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Apple will reportedly combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by 2021

Apple will reportedly combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by 2021

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.

If all goes according to plan, then developers will be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps into what Apple calls a "single binary" by 2021. The only limitation, however, is that developers will continue to have to release separate versions of their apps on the iOS and Mac App Stores for the time being.

By removing the headache of porting from iOS to macOS, Apple no longer needs to tackle the question of whether it ultimately intends to combine the two operating systems into one. The apps will still need to be submitted separately to each app store, but by 2021 that step should disappear. They asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

While developers haven't had access to anything Marzipan-related at this point, Apple itself tested the idea in macOS Mojave. Bloomberg also said the company might preview its new Mac Pro, which is scheduled for launch this year, during WWDC 2019.

By 2021, Twitter Inc, which has mostly abandoned the Mac, could publish a single app for all Apple customers.

We first heard about Marzipan back in 2017, but this is the first hint of Apple's tentative schedule for its rollout and application.

In the meantime, the company reportedly plans to first release an SDK for developers to port iPad apps to the Mac this year. This move should also make it easier for Apple to move to ARM chips inside its Mac hardware if that ever becomes a viable solution.

Bloomberg spoke to unnamed sources familiar with Apple's plans, who claim that Apple will begin the process this year. It's worth noting that there are still no plans to combine iOS and macOS into one platform. 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).

In a sense, the whole plan is very similar to what Windows tried to do with its Universal Windows Platform app.

Apple plans to hold its annual software conference from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, California, according to permit filings reported recently by website MacRumors. Bloomberg's report suggests the company may debut a new version of the Mac Pro in June, but that hasn't been confirmed.

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