Apple announced that the company has no plans to merge iOS and macOS during its Worldwide Developers Conference last year, but it also said it’s working on a way for developers to write apps that work on both operating systems. Project Marzipan, as Apple calls it, wasn’t discussed in much detail at WWDC, but Apple described the News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos apps that come with macOS Mojave as examples of Marzipan at work. And we haven’t heard a lot about Marzipan since WWDC.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Marzipan could be in the spotlight for this year’s WWDC. According to Gurman, Apple could release a software development kit at the conference that will allow iPad developers to port their apps to the Mac. Then, in 2020, Apple will release a kit that ports iPhone apps to the Mac. By 2021, Apple will give developers the ability to create a “single binary” of an app—in other words, one app that can run on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
The ability to write a set of code and be able to run it on different platforms could make it easier to create apps, although developers will have to consider the interface differences between iOS and macOS. Gurman also said that this could allow Apple to have a single App Store rather than separate ones for iOS and macOS.
Gurman also reports that Apple is considering a preview of the new Mac Pro at WWDC 2019, along with iPad productivity tools and a dark mode for all its devices for easier nighttime viewing. Rumor has it that WWDC 2019 may be held in San Jose, California, from June 3 to 7.
Why this matters: Developers have had to make decisions on how to best allocate their resources and their efforts, and for the most part, iOS development gets the nod over macOS. With Marzipan, developers can find new markets and revenue possibilities. It could also result in a new era of macOS development and a surge of new Mac apps.
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Roman has covered technology since the early 1990s. His career started at MacUser, and he's worked for MacAddict, Mac|Life, and TechTV.