Apple could be mulling biggest change to iPhone, iPad, Mac apps by 2021

In 2020, Apple plans to extend the kit so that iPhone applications can be converted in the same way into Mac applications.


Apple Inc. wants to help software developers simultaneously build tools, games and other applications for their main devices, a review designed to encourage application development and, ultimately, increase revenue. The ultimate goal of this multi-step initiative, codenamed "Marzipan", is to help developers build an application once and for all and make it work on iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, said familiar people. effort This should stimulate the creation of new software and increase the utility of the company's devices.

Each new app represents another revenue opportunity for Apple because it eliminates many app purchases and subscriptions. The company has positioned its service division as a growing sector.

In the coming months, Apple plans to allow developers to transfer their iPad applications to Mac computers with a new software development kit that the company will launch at its annual developer conference in early June. Developers will still have to send separate versions of the application to Apple's iOS and Mac application stores, but the new kit will mean they will not have to write the underlying software code twice, explain the makers. .

In 2020, Apple plans to extend the kit so that iPhone applications can be converted in the same way into Mac applications. Apple engineers have found this difficult, because the screens of the iPhone are much smaller than those of Mac computers.

By 2021, developers will be able to combine iPhone, iPad and Mac applications in a single application or what's called a "simple binary". This means that developers will not have to send their work to different Apple app stores, which will allow iOS applications to be downloaded directly from Mac computers, effectively combining the stores.

The plans are fluid and could be changed, people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private matters. An Apple spokeswoman, based in Cupertino, Calif., Declined to comment.

The most direct benefit of the Marzipan project will be to make life easier for millions of developers who write software for Apple devices. For example, later this year, Netflix Inc. could more easily offer a Mac application to watch videos by converting its iPad application. In 2021, Twitter Inc., which for the most part abandoned the Mac, could release a single application for all Apple customers.

Apple has anticipated the implementation plan, without revealing the roadmap, at last year's developer conference. Bloomberg News wrote for the first time about this initiative in 2017.

The work coincides with the company's preparations to further merge the fundamentals of its equipment. Currently, iPhones and iPads are powered by Apple processors, while Macs use Intel Corp. chips. Apple plans to start migrating some Macs to their own chips after 2020, reported Bloomberg News last year. Despite the application's merger plan, Apple has announced that it will not combine iOS and macOS into a single operating system.

Apple is not the first company to rationalize its application ecosystems. Before Microsoft Corp. did not suspend Windows for phones, it implemented a technology called Universal Windows Platform, which allowed developers to create unique applications that can run on all their devices. Similarly, Google has installed its Android application store on some laptops equipped with its operating system Chrome OS.

Apple plans to hold its annual software conference June 3-7 in San Jose, California, according to recent license applications from the MacRumors website.

At the event, Apple also plans to introduce new software features for its devices, including a dark mode for simplified night viewing and new productivity tools for the iPad. The company has also been thinking internally about previewing a new version of the high-end Mac Pro, according to people familiar with the proceedings.

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