Skip to main content

With no plans for merging operating systems, Apple opts to combine apps instead

Apple products stock photo

App developers hoping to create the next big, must-have app for Apple product users will soon find it a bit easier to do so.

According to a recent report by Bloomberg, Apple is working toward combining apps built for its iPhones, Macs, and iPads in an effort to stimulate the development of new apps and services.

Codenamed “Marzipan,” Apple’s multi-platform app integration initiative is expected to be completed by 2021 and will begin as early as June 2019 with the debut of a new software development kit (SDK).

With the release of the new SDK, app developers should be able to submit iOS and Mac versions of their apps to their respective app stores without having to rewrite the code for each version. The release of the SDK is expected during Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple also plans to expand the SDK in 2020, to allow for the conversion of iPhone apps into Mac-ready apps.

By 2021, the Marzipan initiative is projected to finally do away with separate app store submissions completely. Instead Apple will opt to allow developers to simply merge their separate iPhone/iPad/Mac app versions into a single app that will be compatible with all three Apple devices. This merged app will be referred to as a “single binary.”

It is worth mentioning, however, that though Apple plans to combine its apps, the technology company has already emphatically stated, as reported by CNET, that it will not merge the iOS and MacOS operating systems.

As The Verge notes, even though Apple isn’t going as far as what Microsoft tried to accomplish with its Universal Windows Platform initiative, Apple’s Marzipan endeavor still looks similar to Microsoft’s universal apps, even without trying to merge its own divergent operating systems.

The intent to create streamlined single-version apps for multiple devices is where the similarities end between the two companies’ apps-based initiatives.

In fact, while Microsoft’s universal apps seem doomed to obscurity, Apple’s Marzipan initiative might succeed where the Universal Windows apps have seemingly failed, mostly because Apple has a successful flagship smartphone with a devoted following, while Microsoft still struggles in the smartphone market.

Editors' Recommendations

Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
3 cool things to try out with Apple’s Freeform app for Mac
Here's my finished garden idea board tjhat I made with Apple Freeform

Apple's new Freeform app provides a simple way to organize your thoughts, visualize a project, and communicate your ideas. It's a blank canvas that's easy to fill with pictures, shapes, notes, links, and more.

Here are three cool things I tried to get started with Freeform: easy sharing, effortless organization, and plenty of style options.
Easy sharing with Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Read more
Beware — even Mac open-source apps can contain malware
A pair of glasses rests on a desk in front of multiple computer monitors filled with code.

Installing apps on a Mac is generally considered to be safer than doing so on Windows and open-source software is usually benign but there are exceptions to both of these assumptions that can do untold damage to your privacy and security.

A recent discovery by Trend Micro provides a startling example of this risk. An open-source app designed to help Mac owners with iPhone and iPad app signing has been altered to include a nasty hack that steals your Apple Keychain data. The original app is called ResignTool and it’s available for free on the popular open-source site, GitHub. The app is six years old and both the code and the ready-to-run app can be downloaded from GitHub. That isn’t the problem.

Read more
Apple Security Research website launches to protect your Mac
Apple Seurity Research website has resources for bug bounty hunters.

Apple just launched a new website that's dedicated to macOS and iOS security and there are already two blog posts that provide examples of what to expect, one providing a deep dive into memory allocation within the XNU kernel at the heart of all Apple devices, and another discussing the improved security bounty process.

The new website will undoubtedly become a critical resource for Apple security researchers, both providing information and serving as a hub for submitting bounties. The Apple Security Research website is also where you can apply for an official Apple Security Research Device (SRD) to help with identifying vulnerabilities by providing special access to what are normally protected areas of iOS.

Read more