Apple has always denied that merging its mobile and desktop operating systems, the way that Microsoft has done, is a good idea. But from 2018, it is reportedly starting to explore that road by giving developers the ability to create apps which work on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Depending on the hardware you use them on, these apps could be controlled via touchscreen, mouse, or trackpad — and would be equally at home on both iOS and macOS.
Apple will reportedly let developers start creating these apps from the first half of next year, possibly at WWDC, while end users will get to use them from fall, when Apple rolls out its next-gen software updates.
The project responsible for this initiative inside Apple is supposedly codenamed “Marzipan.” The Bloomberg report about the project, which cites unnamed individuals familiar with Apple’s plans, notes that there is still a chance that the project could be cancelled.
It’s not clear what this would mean for the iOS and Mac App Store as individual entities, and whether these changes would affect all apps or just a few, depending on developer preferences.
A change of philosophy
In some ways, the move would be surprising for Apple. Other companies have blended the desktop and mobile experience quite well, but Apple has always been adamant that this is not the way it thinks things should be. Speaking with tech journalist Steven Levy a couple of years back, Phil Schiller said that:
“iOS from its start has been designed as a multi-touch experience — you don’t have the things you have in a mouse-driven interface, like a cursor to move around, or teeny little ‘close’ boxes that you can’t hit with your finger.”
In theory, the idea sounds promising — since it could help fix the ghost town that is the Mac App Store. Personally, I’d love to see Apple experiment a bit more with the Mac, which has been disregarded in recent years, even though the new iMac Pro offers a ray of hope in that regard. At the same time, merging iOS and Mac apps could simply result in more mobile focused, simplified apps appearing on our desktops and laptops, further relegating the Mac in terms of priorities.
What do you think? Is this a positive route for Apple to travel down? And would you like to see more merging of iOS and macOS? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.