Report reaffirms Apple still plans to 'allow iPad apps to run on Macs this year'

Posted:
in Mac Software
Despite multiple reports saying key features in "iOS 12" have been delayed to allow Apple to improve performance and squash bugs, one highly anticipated feature expected to make it easier for developers to port apps from iOS to macOS is said to still be on target to launch later this year.




Word first surfaced on Tuesday that overhauls initially planned for the next major release of iOS, including a redesign of the app home screen, were pushed to 2019 to allow the company to focus on performance and reliability.

Later in the day, a second report chimed in to reaffirm those details, but also alleged that Apple's so-called project "Marzipan," rumored to simplify developer tools with a unified code base, remains on track to launch this year. It has been alleged that the changes will make it easier for developers to bring iOS applications to the Mac, and even run a unified code base for apps on all major platforms, including tvOS and watchOS.

On Wednesday, Axios -- which broke the original story on "iOS 12" features getting the ax -- weighed in again, and corroborated that "Marzipan" remains on track for this year. Interestingly, wording chosen by reporter Ina Fried alleged that iPad apps themselves could run natively on macOS, suggesting little or no changes would be necessary.

"The signature new feature for the Mac -- the ability to run iPad apps -- is a significant undertaking that adds a high degree of complexity to this year's OS release," Fried wrote.




Fried also revealed that changes to macOS planned for this year, presumably with a 10.14 update, include a new "project around security," and performance improvements for waking and unlocking.

If Apple sticks to its regular annual release pattern, as is expected to do, then both "iOS 12" and "macOS 10.14" should be unveiled at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, before launching to the public in September.

A lack of quality options on the Mac App Store has been one of the main criticisms of the online storefront since it debuted with Snow Leopard in early 2011. The iOS App Store, meanwhile, is regarded as one of the largest and highest quality app repositories on the planet, and bringing down barriers between the two could offer Mac users more downloadable options.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,555member
    Running iPad apps on the Mac?

    Heh. Nope. 

    If iPad apps are to run “natively” on a Mac then “little or no changes” makes no sense. It would have to be no changes at all, otherwise it ain’t native. 

    But here’s a thought:

    If Apple allows iPad apps to run natively on Macs, then I’m not sure the implications would be that great for the Mac’s long term future. 
    edited January 2018 larrya
  • Reply 2 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Running iPad apps on the Mac?

    Heh. Nope. 
    Developers do it now with iPad and iPhone emulator, not sure what the issue is? 
    jony0
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Interesting idea, and one that gives people an answer as to why Apple continues to push the processing power of the A series.
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 42
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,555member
    MacPro said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Running iPad apps on the Mac?

    Heh. Nope. 
    Developers do it now with iPad and iPhone emulator, not sure what the issue is? 
    That’s for developers to test their apps.  It’s not for end users to run an iPad app in a tiny non-desktop-optimised rectangle on the screen with a UI designed for touch rather than a mouse. 

    I’m not saying they can’t do it. I’m saying they won’t do it because it would encourage a store full of really poor applications. 

    What I think they’ll do is make it much easier for developers to write apps that can cover all their platforms from a file loaded to a single store. You buy an app, and all your devices get the app native to that platform. 

    But I don’t expect them all to have the same UI. 


    edited January 2018 bloggerblogStrangeDayscgWerksjony0fastasleep
  • Reply 5 of 42
    schlackschlack Posts: 679member
    One step closer to having Apple processors on the Macs. Once most people are using Apple Store Apps for the majority of their tasks, the switch becomes easier.
    MisterKitlolliver
  • Reply 6 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    Rayz2016 said:
    MacPro said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Running iPad apps on the Mac?

    Heh. Nope. 
    Developers do it now with iPad and iPhone emulator, not sure what the issue is? 
    That’s for developers to test their apps.  It’s not for end users to run an iPad app in a tiny non-desktop-optimised rectangle on the screen with a UI designed for touch rather than a mouse. 

    I’m not saying they can’t do it. I’m saying they won’t do it because it would encourage a store full of really poor applications. 

    What I think they’ll do is make it much easier for developers to write apps that can cover all their platforms from a file loaded to a single store. You buy an app, and all your devices get the app native to that platform. 

    But I don’t expect them all to have the same UI. 


    We'll see but I suspect they will do it.  Of course you are right, some apps won't be very good in that environment but then again many will be fine.  If they are made downloadable to the Mac of you have paid for them already then there's no harm in trying them and deleting what isn't a good experience due to the UI.  

    I know what I'll like, the apps for controlling things via iOS that still requite a web interface on the Mac (e.g. ecobee).  The less use of the web the better these days and iOS apps are a way on the Mac to avoid the web. 
    edited January 2018 lolliverjony0
  • Reply 7 of 42
    Most of the code of a iOS application compile and run natively on macOS; most of the libraries are the same, and large part of the UI infrastructure is also the same.
    Actually, from a developer point of view, iOS and macOS are already very very close.

    What is different: everything that deals with file, because of the iOS sandbox, and the actual UI code, that is different, the toolkits are  different, with a different hierarchy of Objective-C/Swift classes.

    My personal guess (as an experience developer) is that this project concern a new User Interface toolkit, either on macOS, on iOS or probably on both, that allows to write user interfaces that run on both platforms, plus some other limited stuff, mostly support in XCode to allow building for both platforms.
    My guess is also that this will not be transparent and automatic, but it will allow a developer, with a explicit design decision, to target both platforms at the same time, with the same code base, but ossibly with custom code and functionalities on each of the two (or more) platforms.

    Maurizio
    macplusplusStrangeDaysHyperealitybwintxjony0fastasleep
  • Reply 8 of 42
    I seriously doubt this would simply be an iPad app running on a Mac. That would go against foundational UI design practices that Apple considers very important and has observed since the beginning. They’d either come up with some clever way so that the same code base works slightly differently based on whether it’s running on iOS or macOS, or this rumour is just a tool to aid in developing apps across iPad and Mac (perhaps to encourage more ‘serious’ apps for the iPad, for developers who are still stuck in the mindset that an iPad isn’t a serious computing device).
    bwintx
  • Reply 9 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    Maurizio said:
    Most of the code of a iOS application compile and run natively on macOS; most of the libraries are the same, and large part of the UI infrastructure is also the same.
    Actually, from a developer point of view, iOS and macOS are already very very close.

    What is different: everything that deals with file, because of the iOS sandbox, and the actual UI code, that is different, the toolkits are  different, with a different hierarchy of Objective-C/Swift classes.

    My personal guess (as an experience developer) is that this project concern a new User Interface toolkit, either on macOS, on iOS or probably on both, that allows to write user interfaces that run on both platforms, plus some other limited stuff, mostly support in XCode to allow building for both platforms.
    My guess is also that this will not be transparent and automatic, but it will allow a developer, with a explicit design decision, to target both platforms at the same time, with the same code base, but ossibly with custom code and functionalities on each of the two (or more) platforms.

    Maurizio
    Agreed.  It only makes sense that Apple will allow developers to add control options for use in either environment.  Personally I am excited about this. 
    jony0
  • Reply 10 of 42
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,894member
    Maurizio said:
    Most of the code of a iOS application compile and run natively on macOS; most of the libraries are the same, and large part of the UI infrastructure is also the same.
    Actually, from a developer point of view, iOS and macOS are already very very close.

    What is different: everything that deals with file, because of the iOS sandbox, and the actual UI code, that is different, the toolkits are  different, with a different hierarchy of Objective-C/Swift classes.

    My personal guess (as an experience developer) is that this project concern a new User Interface toolkit, either on macOS, on iOS or probably on both, that allows to write user interfaces that run on both platforms, plus some other limited stuff, mostly support in XCode to allow building for both platforms.
    My guess is also that this will not be transparent and automatic, but it will allow a developer, with a explicit design decision, to target both platforms at the same time, with the same code base, but ossibly with custom code and functionalities on each of the two (or more) platforms.

    Maurizio
    Great post. What Apple is allegedly doing is very similar to what Microsoft did with the .NET platform and its frameworks like WPF to achieve a great deal of binary compatibility between the various Window 10 desktop, mobile, and embedded versions. It's not about "dumbing down" the Mac with apps designed to run on an iPhone or iPad, it's about improving (and formalizing) reuse potential between the various Apple platforms that are already based on a common foundation anyway.
    StrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 11 of 42
    virtuavirtua Posts: 206member
    Maurizio said:
    Most of the code of a iOS application compile and run natively on macOS; most of the libraries are the same, and large part of the UI infrastructure is also the same.
    Actually, from a developer point of view, iOS and macOS are already very very close.

    What is different: everything that deals with file, because of the iOS sandbox, and the actual UI code, that is different, the toolkits are  different, with a different hierarchy of Objective-C/Swift classes.

    My personal guess (as an experience developer) is that this project concern a new User Interface toolkit, either on macOS, on iOS or probably on both, that allows to write user interfaces that run on both platforms, plus some other limited stuff, mostly support in XCode to allow building for both platforms.
    My guess is also that this will not be transparent and automatic, but it will allow a developer, with a explicit design decision, to target both platforms at the same time, with the same code base, but ossibly with custom code and functionalities on each of the two (or more) platforms.

    Maurizio
    I think it’s a lot easier to transfer a user interface workable version from iOS to macOS than macOS to iOS - optimising for touch is harder - that’s been windows problem for years as that’s the way they’ve played it. 

    also interesting that Korg took their Gadget app on iOS and launched it on the Mac last year - it’s essentially the same version (albeit full fat version without the optional purchases) with the added benefit that you can use the sounds as plug ins on things like Logic Pro. 
  • Reply 12 of 42
    They should call this new iOS compatible Mac... Wait for it....

    iMac

    well????
  • Reply 13 of 42
    NIce...I'd like to be able to use my AppleWatch Activity/Workout App and the Watch App on my iPad and my MacBook...that's really about all I want. :)
    edited January 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 42
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,402member
    Maurizio said:
    Most of the code of a iOS application compile and run natively on macOS; most of the libraries are the same, and large part of the UI infrastructure is also the same.
    Actually, from a developer point of view, iOS and macOS are already very very close.
    I'm confused what you mean by "large part of the UI infrastructure is also the same". While a lot of naming and hierarchies are similar, it's quite different when you look at the details of the counterparts. NSViewController and UIViewController serve different purposes, drawing y-origins are in reverse for Quartz, NSButton and UIButton behave differently, NSView and UIView have different responders that react different because of an input base vs gesture based system. 

    This is my larger point of pointing out why Apple came up with UXKit internally (https://sixcolors.com/post/2015/02/new-apple-photos-app-contains-uxkit-framework/). From what we have gathered, UXKit is essentially marrying UIKit and AppKit. AppKit has a lot of cruft it has gathered over the last 20+ years (a lot of carryover from the NeXTStep days). They really need to come up with a new framework for the Mac. I imagine we will see the emergence of something like UXKit at WWDC this year, though I've predicted that for the last two years :)
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 42
    MacPro said:
    Maurizio said:
    Most of the code of a iOS application compile and run natively on macOS; most of the libraries are the same, and large part of the UI infrastructure is also the same.
    Actually, from a developer point of view, iOS and macOS are already very very close.

    What is different: everything that deals with file, because of the iOS sandbox, and the actual UI code, that is different, the toolkits are  different, with a different hierarchy of Objective-C/Swift classes.

    My personal guess (as an experience developer) is that this project concern a new User Interface toolkit, either on macOS, on iOS or probably on both, that allows to write user interfaces that run on both platforms, plus some other limited stuff, mostly support in XCode to allow building for both platforms.
    My guess is also that this will not be transparent and automatic, but it will allow a developer, with a explicit design decision, to target both platforms at the same time, with the same code base, but ossibly with custom code and functionalities on each of the two (or more) platforms.

    Maurizio
    Agreed.  It only makes sense that Apple will allow developers to add control options for use in either environment.  Personally I am excited about this. 
    Isn't this what Microsoft tried to do with Windows 10? To have the same app run on desktop, tablet, and mobile?
    If that is so, I say an Apple branded "toaster-fridge" is imminent.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    foljsfoljs Posts: 313member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Running iPad apps on the Mac?

    Heh. Nope. 

    If iPad apps are to run “natively” on a Mac then “little or no changes” makes no sense. It would have to be no changes at all, otherwise it ain’t native. 
    Native just means running the same code directly on the CPU without an emulation/translation layer.

    Here we have 2 different CPU architectures, but fat binaries could have code for both (and bit-code could help).

    Even more possible is the ability to have the same APIs (or even ABIs) in both systems, and be able to have the same backend, but customized UI for each platform (like today you can run the same "fat app" in both iPhone and iPad with a different UI for each.

  • Reply 17 of 42
    I still think that macOS is coming to the next iPad Pro.  iPad Apps on a Mac, which never had a touch screen, doesn't make any sense.  But running macOS on the iPad Pro makes one helluva upgrade for the iPad and Mac combined.  It would be the first "mac" product to feature a high-refresh rate touch screen with support for Apple Pencil.  And it would be the first iPad that can run a full mac desktop operating system and popular software like Final Cut, Logic Pro, and Xcode.

    A-Series processors feature Intel Core performance and fast Apple custom graphics.  The iPad Pro storage capacities are up to 512GB matching the high end SKUs for popular MacBook Pro laptops.  I think this is the time... Apple is going to do what they said they would never do...  Merge the mac and iPad...  You heard it here first.


    edited January 2018
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Rayz2016 said:
    MacPro said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Running iPad apps on the Mac?

    Heh. Nope. 
    Developers do it now with iPad and iPhone emulator, not sure what the issue is? 
    That’s for developers to test their apps.  It’s not for end users to run an iPad app in a tiny non-desktop-optimised rectangle on the screen with a UI designed for touch rather than a mouse. 

    I’m not saying they can’t do it. I’m saying they won’t do it because it would encourage a store full of really poor applications. 

    What I think they’ll do is make it much easier for developers to write apps that can cover all their platforms from a file loaded to a single store. You buy an app, and all your devices get the app native to that platform. 

    But I don’t expect them all to have the same UI. 
    Exactly this. IMO the non-developer tech writers are getting confused, believing that universal app packages means “zomg iOS apps on Mac!” 

    While anything is possible, everything Apple has said indicates they understand apps must be custom designed for their target platforms. Adding new APIs and IDE support to Xcode to make universal iOS + macOS apps a thing sounds cool, but it isn’t at all the same as running touch-based iPad apps on a pointer-based Mac. Just as we don’t run iPad apps on tvOS. 

    This is about frameworks and code sharing, not applications. 

    As usual Gruber gets it:

    https://daringfireball.net/2017/12/marzipan
    edited January 2018 cgWerks
  • Reply 19 of 42
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,777member
    I still think that macOS is coming to the next iPad Pro.  iPad Apps on a Mac, which never had a touch screen, doesn't make any sense.  But running macOS on the iPad Pro makes one helluva upgrade for the iPad and Mac combined.  It would be the first "mac" product to feature a high-refresh rate touch screen with support for Apple Pencil.  And it would be the first iPad that can run a full mac desktop operating system and popular software like Final Cut, Logic Pro, and Xcode.

    A-Series processors feature Intel Core performance and fast Apple custom graphics.  The iPad Pro storage capacities are up to 512GB matching the high end SKUs for popular MacBook Pro laptops.  I think this is the time... Apple is going to do what they said they would never do...  Merge the mac and iPad...  You heard it here first.


    If Apple does bring macOS to the iPad, you can bet it won't be "full" macOS.  Meaning you won't have the ability to side load apps.  Only apps from the App Store will be permitted. On a side note, now that iOS 12 / macOS 10.14 will focus on performance / stability / reliability, any chance of this happening won't come till 2019 at the earliest.
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 20 of 42
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 136member
    Wrong way... I want Mac apps running on my iPad (Pro)... Xcode especially
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