Apple Plans to Let Developers Release Universal Apps That Work Across iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Apple aims to allow developers to release universal apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac as early as next year, according to Bloomberg News.

ios app store mac app store

Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it's running on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple tentatively plans to begin rolling out the change in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 next year, and it could announce the news as soon as WWDC 2018 in June, according to the report. The exact timeline is subject to change.

Apple typically previews the next major versions of its iOS and macOS operating systems at WWDC in June, with beta versions of each platform available to developers and public testers until September, so it's possible APIs for universal apps will begin rolling out in the pre-release software.

Apple currently requires developers to design separate apps for iOS and macOS, but iPhone and iPad apps often receive more attention than their Mac counterparts in a mobile-first world. The report said it's unclear if Apple will eventually merge the less-popular Mac App Store with the App Store for iOS.

The project is reportedly codenamed "Marzipan" and is considered to be one of the biggest changes on Apple's roadmap next year. The report speculates that universal apps would make it easier for Apple to one day create a single operating system for all of its devices, should it ever go down that avenue.

Apple would be following in the footsteps of Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform, aimed at helping developers create universal apps that run across Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, the latter of which is being phased out.

Related Forum: macOS Mojave

Top Rated Comments

oneMadRssn Avatar
84 months ago
My main worry about universal apps is bloat.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iZac Avatar
84 months ago
A prerequisite being a shiny new ARM based Mac?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Appleaker Avatar
84 months ago
This is brilliant, I don’t think they should create 1 OS, but things like this will make things like handoff more seamless and hopefully be a big step for Mac games too as iOS games become more advanced.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wwchris Avatar
84 months ago
Mouse support for iPad would actually let it be a true, productive laptop. I know Apple won't do it because it would blur their product lines, but they really should.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EvilEvil Avatar
84 months ago
They should have done this since the beginning.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zedsdead Avatar
84 months ago
Finally....of course though the concern is that this means more Mac apps will get gutted like with iWork during the initial transition (pages is still not fully up to par with the old version).
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone se 4 modified flag edges

When to Expect the Next iPhone SE to Launch

Friday May 17, 2024 2:03 pm PDT by
It has been over two years since Apple released the third-generation iPhone SE, and rumors continue to surface about a new model. The latest word comes from The Information, which today reported that Apple plans to release a new iPhone SE with a design similar to the standard iPhone 14 in the spring of 2025. If this rumor is accurate, the iPhone SE would finally gain Face ID and a notch...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices [Updated]

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
iphone se 4 modified flag edges

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...