Apple may soon borrow a page from Microsoft’s playbook. The Cupertino-based company as early as next year could allow developers to design a single application that works equally well across iPhones, iPads and Macs.
As it stands today, developers are tasked with creating separate apps for iOS and macOS.
Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell Bloomberg that the project, codenamed “Marzipan,” will be one of the flagship features of next year’s software roadmap. Apple could announce the initiative at its annual developer conference in June ahead of a late 2018 debut although sources note that Apple’s plans are still fluid and could change between now and then.
Microsoft tried something similar with its Universal Windows Platform before bailing on its mobile strategy.
Should the project come to fruition, it’s unclear if Apple would merge the Mac and iOS App Stores.
The move would likely be welcomed by developers as it would obviously be easier to code a single app versus having to create and maintain two variants. Conversely, with a single, multi-purpose app, you run the risk of presenting an interface that feels like it was designed for a different platform entirely (partially because it was).
It could also put some developers in an uncomfortable position. A dev that simply doesn’t care to serve a specific platform may suddenly find themselves having to do so anyway.
Second photo courtesy Justin Sullivan, Getty Images