Apple might combine iOS and Mac apps next year

Apple might combine iOS and Mac apps next year

That would mean developers could make one app that works equally well on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Bloomberg sources say the universal functionality will be aimed at boosting the barren wasteland that is the Mac App Store.

San Francisco-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. According to a report from Bloomberg's well-sourced Mark Gurman, the next version of macOS - expected to be numbered 10.14 - will be capable of running apps originally developed for iOS devices. That's a lot more work.

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Bloomberg warns that the plans are not set in stone, timings could change, and perhaps cancelled altogether. It's also the only place to develop iOS apps, and key for graphic design, audio and video editing, and more. It's uncertain whether developers could still opt to create applications exclusively for one platform: that would likely be more of concern to those behind desktop software, which might be unsuitable to either mobile device displays or the processing power available in a smartphone or tablet. The secret project, codenamed "Marzipan", is one of the tentpole additions for next year's Apple software road map. The Universal Windows Platform allows developers to create a single app that works on all devices, whether it's a tablet, smartphone or computer. Apple wasn't immediately available to discuss its plans. Google took an alternative approach, bringing Android app support and the Google Play Store to Chrome OS.

Apple could be looking to bring its desktop and mobile software much closer together.

Apple's app system changes would follow Microsoft. Will Apple go there? Apple software chief Craig Federighi has called the blending of iOS and macOS "a compromise". On the iPad, the same app can be used in different layouts depending on how it is being presented, full-screen or in Split View multitasking.

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