Gruber: Apple's Cross-Platform App Support to Debut in 2019, Not 2018

Rumored cross-platform functionality that will allow Macs to run iPhone and iPad apps is planned for macOS 10.15 and iOS 13 rather than macOS 10.14 and iOS 12, according to well-known Apple journalist John Gruber.

Gruber shared the tidbit in a blog post covering "scuttlebutt" he's heard about the cross-platform UI project, which he says is indeed in the works at Apple.


News of support for universal apps able to run on ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and Mac was first shared by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in December. At the time, Gurman said Apple would introduce the functionality in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14, with an announcement likely to happen at the Worldwide Developer's Conference in June.

Gurman and Axios' Ina Fried later confirmed in January that the combined app framework was on the table for 2018 despite other planned iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 features being pushed back, but Gruber says he's "nearly certain" it's a 2019 project for macOS 10.15 and ‌iOS 13‌, which could also be part of an updated UI for iOS said to be coming next year. "I would set your expectations accordingly for this year's WWDC," he writes.

According to Gruber, from what he's heard through first and second-hand sources, Apple appears to be working on declarative control APIs for iOS and macOS, which suggests Apple wants to make it easy for developers to create modern cross-platform user interfaces. Gruber's info is not as definitive as outright support for cross-platform iOS and macOS apps as has been previously reported, but it is an indication that Apple is working towards that goal.

There's nothing inherently cross-platform about a declarative control API. But it makes sense that if Apple believes that (a) iOS and MacOS should have declarative control APIs, and (b) they should address the problem of abstracting the API differences between UIKit (iOS) and AppKit (MacOS), that they would tackle them at the same time. Or perhaps the logic is simply that if they're going to create a cross-platform UI framework, the basis for that framework should be a declarative user interface.

It's not clear who is correct on the timing of the universal app project given the conflicting information, but we don't have long to wait to find out. macOS 10.14 and iOS 12 will be introduced at the keynote event of the Worldwide Developers Conference, which is set to take place on June 4.

Gruber's full writeup with additional details on the project can be found over at Daring Fireball.

Related Roundups: WWDC 2020, iOS 13, iPadOS, macOS Catalina

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
27 months ago
The new Apple: no new Mac Pro, no updated Macbook Air, no new unified UI framework...watch bands it is then.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
Coming from Gruber, this is obviously a planned "fake leak" blessed by Apple. Apple giving us the heads up that cross platform apps are still a ways away.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

Not looking good for iOS 12 or Mac OS 10.14. Only speed, performance and emojis.

Aka system stability. Sounds like a good idea to me.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

Not looking good for iOS 12 or Mac OS 10.14. Only speed, performance and emojis.

How is speed, performance and emojis not good?

This makes sense, given the comments that iOS 12 scraped the homescreen redesign to focus on stability.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
All I want in the next operating systems is stability. I'm mega-fed up with problems that are constantly introduced!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

So...because it’s a difficult problem to solve, that means it can’t be solved?

Sounds to me like the sort of thing that is ripe for innovative thinking. Because that’s what innovation actually is. Problem solving with clever solutions. This is exactly the sort of challenge the Mac has needed to get some creative problem solving flowing in the macOS team.

Except that there is no macOS team anymore (only ad-hoc redressed teams that either do some macOS work, and then some iOS work)
Currently, that lack of core competencies/product specialists coincides with many of either platform‘s quality problems in the Cook era.
If Launchpad and Siri for macOS are amongst the “creative problem solving” that you mention, I’d consider that as solutions waiting for a problem. “Inspired” by some Board-level pipedream to bring iOS profitability into macOS, or a Cookette panacea to save a starving (mismanaged) Mac Appstore.
I can’t think of any iOS functionality to enrich Mac users (beyond what iDevices already bring) other than touch - which is exactly what Apple does not want.
Most iOS apps are an insult to Mac users both in terms of functionality and UX.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug

Sunday May 24, 2020 9:13 pm PDT by
Over the past few hours, a number of MacRumors readers have reported seeing dozens or even hundreds of pending app updates showing in the App Store on their iOS devices, including for many apps that were already recently updated by the users. In many cases, the dates listed on these new app updates extend back as far as ten days. Apple has not shared any information as to why updates for...

'This App is No Longer Shared' iOS Bug Preventing Some Apps From Opening

Friday May 22, 2020 3:58 pm PDT by
An app bug is causing some iOS users to be unable to open their apps, with affected iPhone and iPad users seeing the message "This app is no longer shared with you" when attempting to access an app. There are multiple complaints about the issue on the MacRumors forums and on Twitter from users who are running into problems. A MacRumors reader describes the issue:Is anyone else experiencing...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities. This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently...

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility

Sunday May 24, 2020 3:06 pm PDT by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 5.0.0 of its software that claims to have the ability to jailbreak "every signed iOS version on every device" using a zero-day kernel vulnerability by Pwn20wnd, a renowned iOS hacker. The announcement comes just days after it was announced that the tool would soon launch. The unc0ver website highlights how the tool...

Future AirPods to Include 'Ambient Light Sensors' Possibly Related to Rumored Health Features

Monday May 25, 2020 2:53 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly looking to integrate light sensors in a new model of AirPods in the next couple of years, according to a new report today, suggesting their use could be part of rumored upcoming health monitoring features in the true wireless earbuds. In a paywalled article, DigiTimes reports that ASE Technology could be involved in manufacturing the sensors: Apple is expected to...

Top Stories: Apple Glass and iPhone 12 Rumors, iOS 13.5 Update, and More!

Saturday May 23, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
It was another big week for rumors this week, with a flurry of reports about Apple's augmented reality glasses, the iPhone 12, and Apple's "AirPods Studio" over-ear headphones. This week also saw the release of iOS 13.5, bringing a number of health-related updates to Apple's mobile devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other topics of interest this week included ...

Apple's 'Bounce' AirPods Ad Wins 'Best of Advertising' Award

Friday May 22, 2020 10:09 am PDT by
Apple's creative "Bounce" ad designed to highlight the AirPods took top honors in the 99th annual ADC (Art Director's Club) awards for advertising, earning the "Best of Discipline" award along with two Gold Cube awards in the craft in video and branded content categories. Released in June 2019, the ad features a bored man who pulls his AirPods off of their wireless charging pad and then pops ...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

'Apple Glass' Rumored to Start at $499, Support Prescription Lenses, and More

Tuesday May 19, 2020 6:30 am PDT by
Front Page Tech host and leaker Jon Prosser today shared several alleged details about Apple's rumored augmented reality glasses, including an "Apple Glass" marketing name, $499 starting price, prescription lens option, and more. The marketing name will be "Apple Glass" The glasses will start at $499 with the option for prescription lenses at an extra cost There will be displays in both...