Big changes could soon be on the horizon for all dedicated Apple users by 2021, according to recent tech reports. Why? We could soon see apps for the iPhone, iPad, and iMac could soon merge, according to Bloomberg. So, what does this exactly entitle? Instead of having separate versions of an app for each platform, a single version of the app will run on all three platforms. What’s more, the separate app stores that currently exist for iOS and Mac devices could also merge into a single store. The changes, of course are unlikely to be completed for a few years. However, they are expected to help streamline the whole app process on both the developer and user ends.
The aim of the multistep initiative, code-named “Marzipan,” is that by 2021, developers will be able to build an app once and have it work on the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, people familiar with the effort said. That should spur the creation of new software, increasing the utility of the company’s gadgets.
Marzipan is set to roll out officially in three phases, reports Mark Gurman for Bloomberg. First, sometime in 2019 (possibly as early as June) a new software kit will be released that will enable developers to port apps written for the iPad to Mac computers with ease. In 2020, a similar capability will be brought to iPhone apps, and by 2021, the plan is for iPad, iPhone, and Mac apps to operate on a single system where developers will no longer need to submit apps to different stores; one app store will house all apps for Apple devices. The work coincides with the company’s preparations to merge more of the underpinnings of its hardware. Currently, iPhones and iPads are powered by Apple processors, while Macs use Intel Corp. chips. Apple plans to start transitioning some Macs to its own chips as early as 2020, Bloomberg News reported last year.
Additionally, there is also large potential for new features to emerge from the decision. As Jason Snell wrote at Macworld in September of 2018, “There are benefits on the iOS side too, especially for iPad users. As I’ve discussed before, once apps offer support for keyboard shortcuts and mouse pointers and the Mac menu bar, it’s not impossible to imagine that future iPads could offer those features if you connected them to a Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad.” Snell also projected that there might be a few years of “growing pains” as the kinks in the new system get worked out — but if Apple does get it right, the whole thing could be quite a valuable change throughout the tech industry.
Of course, this isn’t exactly the first time the general public has heard about the Marzipan idea. In fact, the idea of the mash up has been in the works for quite some time, and the idea was first seen when Bloomberg first reported on it way back in December of 2017. When reported, Bloomberg’s report outlined the idea that software developers could soon “be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it’s running on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware,” and the bigger picture of the whole thing. “Apple’s apps initiative is part of a larger, longer-term push to make the underpinnings of its hardware and software more similar,” wrote Mark Gurman then.
The merging is rumoured to roll out during this year’s, Apple World Wide Developer Conference, which is expected to occur in June. At the event, Apple also plans to debut new software features for its devices, including a dark mode for easier nighttime viewing and new productivity tools for the iPad. The company has also internally weighed previewing a new version of the high-end Mac Pro, according to people familiar with the deliberations.