Late last year, Mark Gurman from Bloomberg reported that Apple is working on a cross-platform UI project codenamed ”Marzipan” that will allow developers to combine their iOS and macOS apps into one. They could essentially create one app that can run across all of Apple’s entire Mac and iOS lineup. This feature was supposed to be unveiled with iOS 12, but it looks like that might not be the case anymore.
John Gruber has provided more details about Marzipan after speaking to some of his sources inside Apple. Firstly, while he confirms the codename “Marzipan,” he says it was only used during the early days of the project, with Apple now referring to it with a new name. As for how it works, Gruber says its a declarative control API.
I don’t have extensive details, but basically it sounds like a declarative control API. The general idea is that rather than writing classic procedural code to, say, make a button, then configure the button, then position the button inside a view, you instead declare the button and its attributes using some other form. HTML is probably the most easily understood example. In HTML you don’t procedurally create elements like paragraphs, images, and tables — you declare them with tags and attributes in markup. There’s an industry-wide trend toward declaration, perhaps best exemplified by React, that could be influencing Apple in this direction
More importantly, perhaps, Gruber says that Apple will not be unveiling this new project at WWDC 2018 in June or even in 2018 at all. Instead, Apple’s plan was always to launch this new cross-platform UI project in 2019 with the release of macOS 10.15 and iOS 13. This contradicts not only the Bloomberg report but also another leak from Axios which claimed a 2018 release.
Building a cross-platform project like this certainly takes a lot of time, so it is possible that Apple decided to delay the release of the project to 2019 to ensure its quality is not compromised. The delay will definitely bum a lot of people, but considering the scale and complexity involved, it is important that Apple gets this feature right the very first time around.
With the company focusing on performance and stability in iOS 12, it now remains to be seen what would be the key highlight of the OS in terms of the feature when it is unveiled at WWDC 2018.
[Via John Gruber]