Apple's project 'Marzipan' will let iOS apps run on the Mac in 2018 - report

Posted:
in Mac Software
As a way to bolster software offerings on Mac, Apple is reportedly planning to blur the lines between its macOS and iOS platforms, allowing iPhone and iPad apps from the hugely successful iOS App Store to run on a Mac.




The massive change will come as early as next year, according to Bloomberg, which cited continued struggles to get software makers to embrace the Mac App Store. With the expected upcoming changes, developers will be able to create a single application that can work with either a touchscreen, a mouse, or a trackpad.

The hope, according to author Mark Gurman, is that applications on the Mac will be updated more frequently and be of higher quality than their current state. The report cited the official Twitter app, which is regularly updated for iPhone and iPad, but less frequently so for Mac.

The blurring of lines between macOS and iOS will reportedly occur with next year's major software updates. If Apple sticks to its usual release pattern, then iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 would be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, before launching to the public in September.

According to Gurman, the project is code-named "Marzipan."




The report noted that Apple's Mac hardware could one day run custom A-series chips, much like the iPhone and iPad. But it would appear that plans to allow iOS apps on the Mac will work with existing Mac hardware, powered by Intel processors.

The Mac App Store debuted in early 2011 on OS X Snow Leopard, offering both free and paid applications.

Like the iOS App Store, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all apps sold on the Mac App Store. But unlike on iOS, Apple still allows users to install non-App Store content, leaving many developers sticking to selling to customers directly.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    About time. I've been expecting this for a few years now.....
    jeffharrisracerhomie3cornchipkingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 2 of 71
    I have to be honest, I kind of want to vomit now. This only underscores them backtracking on years, and years, and years, of research and design. The touch screen is not the desktop and vice versa. This is the Red Wedding of macOS essentially to me. Making these super universal apps will destroy ecosystems, and make people incredibly frustrated. It did not work for Microsoft, and it did not work for Google, why in the hell is Apple doing this? Who did they hire? I'm betting some Google or Redmond recruit has gotten his claws in deep enough to poison the well and destroy a good thing. I can be up front in saying Jobs is rolling around in his grave at the moment, and yeah, I take that and run with it because its the truth. And yeah, Jobs is dead, but this is ripping up the playbook and crapping on the idea of a tablet OS and a desktop OS. They are separate, they are different. Programmers and customers alike do not like to conflate them. Mark my words though: 2018 Apple will require you to build a Mac OS app as well, and then state you can't put it on the App Store unless you have a version of both. The end result: anarchy and hell.
    randominternetpersonjasenj1dysamoriafrumioustallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 71
    Mouse support would actually allow the iPad to become a "real" computer. Que the "what's a computer" jokes. :-)
    k2kwpaxmanGeorgeBMacrepressthis
  • Reply 4 of 71
    wwchris said:
    Mouse support would actually allow the iPad to become a "real" computer. Que the "what's a computer" jokes. :-)
    This is my point entirely as well. If you start adding in the mouse to iPad apps you essentially just have a thin laptop. The entire point of the iPad was to avoid a mouse. The entire point of a desktop OS is to use a mouse. Splicing the two together holds no water, and has no dignity in the investment made during development. This isn't thinking different, this is thinking like the rest of the crowd and becoming a sheep. I'm none to happy about it either, but hey, I guess this is where we go. We give up on rock solid ideas that won entire platform wars to be just like the rest of the engineers losing ground.
    damn_its_hotchiarandominternetpersondeepinsiderdysamoriafrumious
  • Reply 5 of 71
    danv2 said:
    I have to be honest, I kind of want to vomit now. This only underscores them backtracking on years, and years, and years, of research and design. The touch screen is not the desktop and vice versa. This is the Red Wedding of macOS essentially to me. Making these super universal apps will destroy ecosystems, and make people incredibly frustrated. It did not work for Microsoft, and it did not work for Google, why in the hell is Apple doing this? Who did they hire? I'm betting some Google or Redmond recruit has gotten his claws in deep enough to poison the well and destroy a good thing. I can be up front in saying Jobs is rolling around in his grave at the moment, and yeah, I take that and run with it because its the truth. And yeah, Jobs is dead, but this is ripping up the playbook and crapping on the idea of a tablet OS and a desktop OS. They are separate, they are different. Programmers and customers alike do not like to conflate them. Mark my words though: 2018 Apple will require you to build a Mac OS app as well, and then state you can't put it on the App Store unless you have a version of both. The end result: anarchy and hell.
    It’s a rumor, dude. 

    And no, I think your 2018 prediction is just panicked nonsense. They’re not going to force iOS devs to produce macOS versions anymore than they force iOS devs to make iPad or tvOS versions today. 
    edited December 2017 tmaymacpluspluschiabrucemcmagman1979patchythepirateuraharawatto_cobrarepressthis
  • Reply 6 of 71
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    danv2 said:
    I have to be honest, I kind of want to vomit now. This only underscores them backtracking on years, and years, and years, of research and design. The touch screen is not the desktop and vice versa. This is the Red Wedding of macOS essentially to me. Making these super universal apps will destroy ecosystems, and make people incredibly frustrated. It did not work for Microsoft, and it did not work for Google, why in the hell is Apple doing this? Who did they hire? I'm betting some Google or Redmond recruit has gotten his claws in deep enough to poison the well and destroy a good thing. I can be up front in saying Jobs is rolling around in his grave at the moment, and yeah, I take that and run with it because its the truth. And yeah, Jobs is dead, but this is ripping up the playbook and crapping on the idea of a tablet OS and a desktop OS. They are separate, they are different. Programmers and customers alike do not like to conflate them. Mark my words though: 2018 Apple will require you to build a Mac OS app as well, and then state you can't put it on the App Store unless you have a version of both. The end result: anarchy and hell.
    Calm down. It’s a rumour from a particularly questionable source. 

    The number of quality Mac apps available today has never been higher, so I don’t really think they need to bolster anything. 
    tmayracerhomie3damn_its_hotchiarandominternetpersonmagman1979watto_cobrarepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 71
    I just want all of those terrific sounding and expensive AU plugins for GarageBand on iOS to now work on my desktop. It makes little sense from a production standpoint to nearly finish one’s work using iOS, then be unable to finesse the audio for release using macOS when many of the sounds are missing and have to be recreated using a lesser alternative.
    randominternetpersoncornchip
  • Reply 8 of 71
    danv2 said:
    I have to be honest, I kind of want to vomit now. This only underscores them backtracking on years, and years, and years, of research and design. The touch screen is not the desktop and vice versa. This is the Red Wedding of macOS essentially to me. Making these super universal apps will destroy ecosystems, and make people incredibly frustrated. It did not work for Microsoft, and it did not work for Google, why in the hell is Apple doing this? Who did they hire? I'm betting some Google or Redmond recruit has gotten his claws in deep enough to poison the well and destroy a good thing. I can be up front in saying Jobs is rolling around in his grave at the moment, and yeah, I take that and run with it because its the truth. And yeah, Jobs is dead, but this is ripping up the playbook and crapping on the idea of a tablet OS and a desktop OS. They are separate, they are different. Programmers and customers alike do not like to conflate them. Mark my words though: 2018 Apple will require you to build a Mac OS app as well, and then state you can't put it on the App Store unless you have a version of both. The end result: anarchy and hell.
    It’s a rumor, dude. 

    And no, I think your 2018 prediction is just panicked nonsense. They’re not going to force iOS devs to produce macOS versions anymore than they force iOS devs to make iPad or tvOS versions today. 
    I wanna be wrong about this, trust me, I hope I am entirely and superbly wrong. If I end up wrong, then I'll be incredibly happy. 
    dysamoriarepressthis
  • Reply 9 of 71
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,056member
    danv2 said:
    wwchris said:
    Mouse support would actually allow the iPad to become a "real" computer. Que the "what's a computer" jokes. :-)
    This is my point entirely as well. If you start adding in the mouse to iPad apps you essentially just have a thin laptop. The entire point of the iPad was to avoid a mouse. The entire point of a desktop OS is to use a mouse. Splicing the two together holds no water, and has no dignity in the investment made during development. This isn't thinking different, this is thinking like the rest of the crowd and becoming a sheep. I'm none to happy about it either, but hey, I guess this is where we go. We give up on rock solid ideas that won entire platform wars to be just like the rest of the engineers losing ground.
    Jobs rolled over when they came out with the Apple Pencil.  So it will be time to add mouse support to iOS apps.  They really should make an iOSBook.

    This maybe apple’s way of saying the Touchbar has been a failure. Otherwise why didn’t they come out with a keyboard for the desktop as an option.

    Maybe Tim Cook wants a Surface Pro, Surface Lap, and a surface Book.
    damn_its_hotzeus423
  • Reply 10 of 71
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,678member
    danv2 said:
    wwchris said:
    Mouse support would actually allow the iPad to become a "real" computer. Que the "what's a computer" jokes. :-)
    This is my point entirely as well. If you start adding in the mouse to iPad apps you essentially just have a thin laptop. The entire point of the iPad was to avoid a mouse. The entire point of a desktop OS is to use a mouse. Splicing the two together holds no water, and has no dignity in the investment made during development. This isn't thinking different, this is thinking like the rest of the crowd and becoming a sheep. I'm none to happy about it either, but hey, I guess this is where we go. We give up on rock solid ideas that won entire platform wars to be just like the rest of the engineers losing ground.
    They may not add a mouse to the iPad, it may only happen on the Mac version.

    this kind of exists already if you build your own apps. You can use the mouse to run an app in a simulator.  Mouse replaces touch. You get too simulated touches if you use some kind of keyboard modified -- though it is nowhere near as intuitive as the device.

    The problem is it will really only work for single window applications  that are network bound -- rather than needing access to the local filesystem( and I bet Apple's guidelines will say that). Even then it will need the developer to do some UI work. Which isn't that different to now. 

    The big gain will be games, provided they can go full screen. 
    edited December 2017 racerhomie3Hyperealityrepressthis
  • Reply 11 of 71
    icodewellicodewell Posts: 11unconfirmed, member
    Great! Now the Appleinsider app can be rejected by the App Store review process for desktop as well!
    SpamSandwichzeus423cornchipGeorgeBMacrepressthis
  • Reply 12 of 71
    danv2 said:
    This only underscores them backtracking on years, and years, and years, of research and design. The touch screen is not the desktop and vice versa.
    Agreed fully.
    This is the Red Wedding of macOS essentially to me. 
    You sure it’s not like when Voldemort fired his phasers and destroyed the Death Star?  :s
    Making these super universal apps will destroy ecosystems
    How will they be universal? How will many of them even work on OS X, given that they’d require more than one point of interaction? This sounds more like a fake rumor yet again.
    SpamSandwichrandominternetpersonjasenj1dysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 71
    Very few...if any apps on my iPads I want or need on my Mac. It just isn't a production path I have. Not sure the matters for me at all.
    damn_its_hot
  • Reply 14 of 71
    I think this is one of the worst ideas I have heard from Apple since maybe the Apple III.

    We don't need a machine that can run multiple platforms (if you think diff please provide use cases). Keep the Mac and iOS separate. If a UI/HI concept makes sense to move then so be it but this looks like a watering down of both platforms. I want to be able to have my desktop machine for its hi perf and large screen. Typically I don't need those kind of resources for a mobile devices for communication. No matter how you look at it I stinks of compromise. I also can't think of a case where I need to have an app for my iPhone that needs to run on my iMac.

    I think the solution is to leave them separate and continue to let each platform excel on its own. If the goal is to sell more apps for the iMac then start upgrading to keep up and bypass hardware that is available for Windows -- innovate on the iMac and the MacBooks and release new models with something beside a touch bar and expect to get people to run for that; also if you are going to introduce/embrace a new port then stick with it Lighting, Thunder, USB C & justify pulling one or better yet stripping a MB to one single port.
    LukeCagedysamoria
  • Reply 15 of 71
    danv2 said:
    I have to be honest, I kind of want to vomit now. This only underscores them backtracking on years, and years, and years, of research and design. The touch screen is not the desktop and vice versa...  ...It did not work for Microsoft, and it did not work for Google, why in the hell is Apple doing this? ...But this is ripping up the playbook and crapping on the idea of a tablet OS and a desktop OS. They are separate....

    I think that you need to reread the article... particularly this part:
    With the expected upcoming changes, developers will be able to create a single application that can work with either a touchscreen, a mouse, or a trackpad.
    I do not think that there is any backtracking of the original stance from the Jobsian days. It is just a common build with all the binaries for touch based wearable watch, mobile phone and tablet; pointer based devices like the AppleTV; mouse and trackpad based desktops and laptop portables; and soon (I hope) voice based digital assistants like the home pod.  These will always remain separate targets, but the developers toolchain will be significantly simplified.  Developers already separate the user interface, from the business logic from the data from the communication protocols between the different parts.... all that this adds is an additional interface view (pretty easy for apps that already support a light mobile interface with a heavy desktop browser view) - most of the code, which is sitting in the cloud, anyway, remains the same

    Apple are the only one who can pull this off, because of the their control of all the target platforms - of course it does not work well when developers also want to target Windows, Chrome, Android etc. desktop, browser and mobile operating systems.

    In my experience, the reason why developers have been slow to embrace the Mac AppStore has been because there are many toolchains that target multiple mobile operating systems, but few that target multiple desktop operating systems as effectively and economically as targeting the desktop browser has been. So I doubt that this strategy will change much... unless, Apple creates a compelling case for developers to build apps that interact directly with their desktop counterparts without the round trip via the cloud.
    StrangeDaysrandominternetpersontmayroundaboutnow
  • Reply 16 of 71
    Overdue.

    Now, deal with footdragging on equivalent access for tvOS.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 17 of 71
    danv2 said:
    wwchris said:
    Mouse support would actually allow the iPad to become a "real" computer. Que the "what's a computer" jokes. :-)
    This is my point entirely as well. If you start adding in the mouse to iPad apps you essentially just have a thin laptop. The entire point of the iPad was to avoid a mouse. The entire point of a desktop OS is to use a mouse. Splicing the two together holds no water, and has no dignity in the investment made during development. This isn't thinking different, this is thinking like the rest of the crowd and becoming a sheep. I'm none to happy about it either, but hey, I guess this is where we go. We give up on rock solid ideas that won entire platform wars to be just like the rest of the engineers losing ground.
    I understand where you are coming from (and I don't believe Apple will allow mouse support. But I will take usability over "dignity" in this case. The fact is, inserting a cursor anywhere on any iOS device is an exercise in frustration. Touches sliding a single digit off as I lift my finger, no arrow back and forward on the virtual keyboard, multiple taps for spelling options, why can't I figure out how many times to tap to bring up copy and paste? etc. The fact that iPhone has the ability to force touch the cursor is a "better" solution and the iPad two finger swipe is a "better" solution, but both of those are emulating trackpad/mouse behavior but doing a poorer job of it. Don't even get me started on trying to select text to copy and paste. These are poor usability as a result of touch screens. Mouse support would only be a factor for those who wanted to use the device that way. Android devices support mouse and it hasn't stopped people from using the touch screen as a primary interface.
    randominternetpersonpatchythepiratejasenj1dysamoria
  • Reply 18 of 71
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    I think this is one of the worst ideas I have heard from Apple since maybe the Apple III.
    ...
    Then it is good that you didn't hear it from Apple...
    Rayz2016chiaStrangeDaysrandominternetpersontmayrepressthis
  • Reply 19 of 71
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,355member
    danv2 said:
    I have to be honest, I kind of want to vomit now. This only underscores them backtracking on years, and years, and years, of research and design. The touch screen is not the desktop and vice versa. This is the Red Wedding of macOS essentially to me. Making these super universal apps will destroy ecosystems, and make people incredibly frustrated. It did not work for Microsoft, and it did not work for Google, why in the hell is Apple doing this? Who did they hire? I'm betting some Google or Redmond recruit has gotten his claws in deep enough to poison the well and destroy a good thing. I can be up front in saying Jobs is rolling around in his grave at the moment, and yeah, I take that and run with it because its the truth. And yeah, Jobs is dead, but this is ripping up the playbook and crapping on the idea of a tablet OS and a desktop OS. They are separate, they are different. Programmers and customers alike do not like to conflate them. Mark my words though: 2018 Apple will require you to build a Mac OS app as well, and then state you can't put it on the App Store unless you have a version of both. The end result: anarchy and hell.
    I think you’re being a bit hyperbolic. Apple has done things incredibly well that other software firms have failed at. I’m not saying they are perfect, but it’s evident by Apple developers that iOS has been progressing rapidly and MacOS, not so much. In fact, Apple has mostly been backporting iOS development to MacOS for years now.

    iOS has some serious changes but doesn’t appear much different on the surface. If you look at the changes they’re making under the hood, they are making iOS/tvOS more flexible to various screen sizes.

    For instance, table cells are now automatically sized and fonts are sized according to dynamic type.  The UIToolbar has been changed in ways that I find buggy, but appear to make it more flexible to different size classes. Oh and there are size classes, changes to the tab bars... and huge changes in the view controller stack.

    They’ve also made changes to the external screen system. I thought this had to do with AirPlay 2 (also an issue) but they could be prepping for handling multiple and different size screens.

    Also, the @available syntax lets you target platform and version for specific SDK calls.

    I think if Apple did this, they would do it “right”. They would also let developers opt into Mac as another platform by making it another target.

    As a Developer, I’m hoping they do this soon. I’d also make sure it’s done well.
    mike egglestonSpamSandwichStrangeDaysjasenj1
  • Reply 20 of 71
    danv2 said
    This is my point entirely as well. If you start adding in the mouse to iPad apps you essentially just have a thin laptop. 
    Alternatively you pave the way for Apple's answer to the ChromeBook.  Lightweight, ARM based, runs iOS apps and relatively cheap since it's aimed at schools.  ChromeBooks are getting a huge following in schools as they're cheap and easy to administer.  
    wwchrisSpamSandwichfoljstmay
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