The days of laboriously converting an iPhone or iPad application to run on a Mac are almost over. Soon, preparing an iOS app to run on macOS will reportedly be as simple as the developer checking a checkbox.
This is part of a trove of good news for developers — and users — leaking out today.
Developers get more sweet, sweet “Marzipan”
Perhaps the biggest ongoing change in macOS is the “Marzipan” project, which will allow Macs to natively run UIKit-based iOS apps. Apple gave a preview of this effort at the 2018 WWDC, and even ported some iPhone apps to macOS, such as the News and Stocks. At this June’s WWDC, Apple will show off all the progress it’s made in the past year.
In addition to being able to target a project to the Mac with a simple checkbox in Xcode, developers will be able to add Mac-specific features, such as support for the Touch Bar, according to an unconfirmed report from 9to5Mac.
iPad-specific features in UIKit software will make the jump the Mac too, such as easily resizing Split View windows. In addition, apps ported to macOS through Marzipan will be able to open multiple windows, strongly suggesting this will also be possible on the iPad, as has already been rumored.
Other reasons to look forward to WWDC 2019
Apple will reportedly announce at its upcoming developer conference that it’s making it easier to design augmented reality apps with a new visual layout system. ARKit software will be able to detect the posture of people the iPhone or iPad scans, while game controllers will get support for touch pads.
Siri will get new features, including “media playback, search, voice calling, event ticketing, message attachment, train trip, flight, airport gate and seat information,” according to 9to5Mac. News of Siri Shortcuts coming to macOS 10.15 already leaked out.
There are quite a few other improvements expected to be unveiled at WWDC 2019, including giving developers greater access to the Taptic Engine, NFC and the document scanning function from the Note app. Apple is also improving the tools it provides developers for machine learning.