In a bid to make developing games, apps, and other tools for macOS and iOS easier, Apple is working on a multistep initiative called “Marzipan.” The whole initiative will be completed by 2021 and allow developers to build an app once which would then work on various Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
We first heard about ‘Marzipan’ in late 2017. Apple has already debuted some iOS apps in macOS Mojave and this year at WWDC 2019, it is expected to release a new SDK for developers that will allow them to port their iPad apps to macOS.
While the macOS and iOS App Store will continue to remain separate, developers will only have to write their apps once and it would then work on both macOS and iPad. Initially, the SDK will only support iPads, with iPhone support being added to the SDK in 2020. The delay is because Apple engineers are finding it difficult to add support for the smaller iPhone screens when compared to a Mac and iPad.
By 2021, developers will be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac applications into one app or what is known as a “single binary.” This means developers won’t have to submit their work to different Apple App Stores, allowing iOS apps to be downloaded directly from Mac computers — effectively combining the stores.
While Apple is already working on the plan, the timeline can possibly change due to unforeseen delays and challenges.
This move from Apple will greatly benefit hundreds of thousands of developers who write and offer apps for both iOS and Mac. A single unified SDK will help them reduce development costs and allow them to further improve their app. The early launch of the SDK at WWDC 2019 will also allow developers to prepare their apps for this change and be ready with a single unified app by the time iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 is released to the public.