Apple wants to combine iPhone, iPad, Mac apps by 2021

Apple will reportedly combine iPhone, iPad and Mac apps by 2021

Apple will reportedly combine iPhone, iPad and Mac apps by 2021

A major change is coming for the way developers can build their apps across Apple's devices. In 2020, iPhone apps will be incorporated into the SDK for Mac ports.

Bloomberg first reported on the initiative, codenamed Marzipan, in December 2017, but then it was supposed to go live as early as 2018.

Despite the app merger plan, Apple has said it won't combine iOS and macOS into a single operating system.

Forward-looking: Over the next couple of years, Apple plans to enable developers to consolidate app development so that writing for one app deploys to all of Apple's platforms. Deploying it to iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices would be handled automatically by the Marzipan system, which would take the form of a software development kit (SDK) provided by Apple.

We first heard about Marzipan back in 2017, but this is the first hint of Apple's tentative schedule for its rollout and application. Apple will probably reveal more specifics later this year at WWDC 2019. By 2021, developers may be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps, creating one application that works across all of those Apple devices (what the report calls a "single binary").

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In the new way of doing things, developers wouldn't submit their apps to Apple's various App Stores.

All this will change by 2021, according to Bloomberg. Apple itself ported the Stocks, News, Home, and Voice Memo apps to macOS Mojave. Once this functionality rolls out, only one version of an app will need to be submitted (and coded), and iOS apps will be readily available from the Mac App Store.

App developers targeting Apple's platforms now need to create at least two versions of their apps.

Apple isn't the first company to streamline its app ecosystems.

Apple's App Stores for various platforms may be combined. The future App Store with Marzipan, along with other services like iCloud, Apple Music, and the company's forthcoming TV streaming service, will contribute to Apple's goal of growing its services business (which hit $10 billion in revenue at the end of the 2018 fiscal year).

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