Apple will combine iOS and Mac apps next year

Apple will combine iOS and Mac apps next year

Apple will combine iOS and Mac apps next year

The move is aimed at freshening up the Mac App Store, which features fewer apps and versions that routinely lack the updates of their iOS counterparts. Unclear is whether Apple would merge the App Store and Mac App Store, which are now separate entities. It doesn't seem that Kon is concerned about Apple's previous App Store icon which also looks like the same in a triangle shape, just the new one. Application teams that wish to target both mobile and desktop users must now build a separate version of their software for each of Apple's operating systems.

There are several factors driving growth in downloads and consumer spend, but the main reason is that users are spending more time with apps, according to Amir Ghodrati, director of market insights at App Annie. While plans for this feature remain fluid, it doesn't appear Apple is backing away from doing it. Currently, developers must choose between creating software intended for iOS devices, like iPhones and iPads, and macOS devices, like the MacBook Pro and iMac. This would give time over the summer for third-party developers to adopt the new APIs to enable truly cross-platform apps.

However, after years of theorizing and speculation, Apple is reportedly trying to bridge the gap between its desktop and mobile stores, by enabling developers to create a single app that would be compatible with both platforms.

Unnamed people with knowledge of the secret project, codenamed "Marzipan", said it is "one of the tentpole additions for next year's Apple software road map". A single universal app could result in better feature parity.


ZDNet has reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post should we hear back.

Bloomberg's sources said that the project may be unveiled next June at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

Bringing parity to the apps across both platforms will surely be a boost for developers. Similarly, Google has brought the Play mobile app store to some laptops running its desktop Chrome OS, letting computer users run smartphone and tablet apps such as Instagram and Snapchat.

Apple may soon borrow a page from Microsoft's playbook. On the iPad, the same app can be used in different layouts depending on how it is being presented, full-screen or in Split View multitasking.

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