Apple Takes A Forward Leap: Plans To Unify The Mac And iOS App Stores For All Users!


Windows has made quite a lot mistakes lately, but unifying its app store wasn’t one of them. Achieving mobility integrated with its bestselling desktop OS was perhaps the best thing the company had done so far. Now people were expecting the same Mac and iOS too, given that the mobile ecosystem of the latter is enormous when compared that of Windows.

But the same approach wasn’t quite there nearly as well. Moreover, lack of an integrated app store on Mac was just inconvenient for Apple’s desktops and laptops. The present Mac App Store is a ghost town of limited selection and rarely updated programs.

But now, Apple plans to change that by granting people a way to use a single set of apps that work equally well across its family of devices: iPhones, iPads and Macs.

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.

Developers currently must design two different apps- one for iOS, the operating system of Apple’s mobile devices, and one for macOS, the system that runs Macs. That’s a lot more work. What’s more, Apple customers have long complained that some Mac apps get short shrift.

Unifying the apps could help the iOS and macOS platforms “evolve and grow as one, and not one at the expense of the other.

-says Steven Troughton-Smith, an app developer and longtime voice in the Apple community.

This would be the biggest change to Apple’s software platform since iOS was introduced. Apple is developing the strategy as part of the next major iOS and macOS updates.

-said many people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter.

Codenamed as Marzipan, the secluded project is planned as a multiyear effort that will start rolling out as early as next year and may be announced at the company’s annual developers conference in the summer. The plans are still fluid, the people said, so the implementation could change or the project could still be cancelled.

An Apple spokeswoman, however, declined to comment anything over the issue.

Now, this should be a welcome step from Apple as lately, Google has also brought the Play mobile app store to some laptops running its desktop Chrome OS, letting computer users run smartphone and tablet apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

It’s unclear if Apple plans to merge the separate Mac and iOS App Stores as well, but it is notable that the version of the store running on iPhones and iPads was redesigned this year while the Mac version has not been refreshed since 2014.

Apple’s apps initiative is part of a larger, longer-term push to make the underpinnings of its hardware and software more similar. Several years ago, the company began designing its own processors for iOS devices.

It has started doing the same for the Mac, recently launching a T2 chip in the iMac Pro that offloads features like security and power management from the main Intel processor onto Apple-designed silicon. Much the way Apple proposes to unify apps, it could also one day use the same main processor on Macs and iOS devices.