Apple is looking to combine iPhone, iPad and Mac apps into one to create a unified user experience. The company will provide developers with the necessary tools to allow them to design a single application that will work on an iPhone, iPad or a Mac.
The project has been codenamed “Marzipan” by Apple and would be initially unveiled as one of the major features of iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 update next year. Apple still has not completely finalised on the project so a WWDC 2018 unveiling might be cancelled or delayed at the last moment.
Apple currently plans to begin rolling out the change as part of next fall’s major iOS and macOS updates, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. The secret project, codenamed “Marzipan,” is one of the tentpole additions for next year’s Apple software road map. Theoretically, the plan could be announced as early as the summer at the company’s annual developers conference if the late 2018 release plan remains on track.
This move from Apple will make it easier for iOS developers to create a macOS version of their app and keep it frequently updated. While many developers do release a macOS version of their iOS app, it is always a step or two behind in terms of features and polish. Worse, it does not get updated as regularly as well. Apple is not the first company to come up with the idea of a unified app. Microsoft tried something similar with Windows Phone and Windows. However, most of the unified apps that were released were poorly done and offered a poor user experience.
It remains to be seen if Apple will also be merging the macOS store with the iOS App Store with this move. With unified apps, it would make little sense for the company to have two different App Stores.
If Apple ends up going ahead with its “Marzipan” project, a WWDC 2018 announcement does seem likely as it would allow developers to update their apps and take advantage of the new unified APIs.