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Apple plans to unify iPhone, iPad, Mac apps for one user experience

21 December 2017

Apple's software landscape may undergo a seismic shift next year, Bloomberg is reporting.

Apple is planning to allow developers to create universal apps that work on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, according to a Bloomberg report.

Apple has introduced new ways for developers to make their iOS apps more flexible and resolution-independent, unlocking support for new aspect ratios and screen sizes as the iOS ecosystem has evolved. There's also the question of how the apps could be modernised would need to be for non-touchscreen Macs. Numerous programs for Macs are also outdated.

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In the past, developers have been forced to create separate apps for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The secret project, code-named "Marzipan", is one of the tent-pole additions for next year's Apple software road map. The changes could launch in September for the iOS and macOS updates.

Naturally, as is the case with Apple and reports about its future plans, this could prove to be a feature that Apple will decide to change course on, or ditch altogether.

Apple's apps initiative is part of a larger, longer-term push to make the underpinnings of its hardware and software more similar. Instead of creating two codebases-one for each platform-they'll be able to start with a unified codebase for both.

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It's worth noting that Microsoft tried a similar strategy with its Universal Windows Platform. Conversely, with a single, multi-purpose app, you run the risk of presenting an interface that feels like it was designed for a different platform entirely (partially because it was).

According to insider sources, the same app will be able to respond to a mouse, a touch pad or a touch screen, depending on the device it's being run on.

Inspiration for the feature undoubtedly comes from efforts brought forth by both Microsoft and Google. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user", Cook said in 2012.

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Apple plans to unify iPhone, iPad, Mac apps for one user experience