Apple Could Combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac Apps: Here’s How
Apple could streamline its App Store, making it easier for developers to create apps that work across iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
The tech giant could next year start allowing developers to create a single application that would work on any Apple hardware, Bloomberg is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. The apps would work with either a mouse and keyboard for the Mac or with a touchscreen on iPhones and iPads. It’s unclear, however, whether Apple wants to combine its app marketplaces or keep them separate.
Apple currently has two App Stores: an iPhone- and iPad-based App Store and a Mac App Store. Developers currently need to create two different apps to offer their programs on all Apple hardware. That tends to cause development costs to rise. It also creates a scenario in which developers focus their resources on the apps users are most likely to interact with. And in a mobile-first world, that’s increasingly iPhone and iPad apps.
That problem has been on full display in Apple’s Mac App Store, where apps are often slow to be updated. For many developers, the Mac App Store is of secondary importance to the standard App Store.
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By combining the development process across all of Apple’s hardware, the company create a uniform software experience across its hardware. It could also reduce strain on third-party developers that would only need to make one app instead of two.
For its part, Apple hasn’t said what its future app plans might be. But the company has been clear in the past that it believes apps that run on Macs are distinct from those on iPhones and iPads, and it’s wanted to keep them apart.
Bloomberg’s sources, however, say Apple has codenamed its project to combine the app development Marzipan. And it could announce the program in the summer and launch it later next year. But as with anything Apple-related, all of that could be subject to change.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on the Bloomberg report.