Apple reportedly prepares a universal app framework between iOS and MacOS

Apple companies header
Josh Edelson/Getty Images
In recent years, Microsoft has pushed its Universal Windows Platform in an effort to make it easier for developers to reach the breadth of its ecosystem with the same software. Now, it seems that Apple is planning a similar program covering both iOS and MacOS.

As it stands, the Mac’s App Store is an offshoot of the storefront used on iPads and iPhones, providing a different selection of apps in a familiar setting. Going forward, Apple wants to give developers the ability to create software that supports both touchscreen interfaces and the mouse and keyboard.

Currently, anyone looking to release a project across MacOS and iOS has to design two completely apps that cater to each platform’s unique traits. Apple wants to remove this constraint and could have the necessary framework in place early next year, according to Bloomberg.

This would provide a significant boost to the Mac App Store, which is typically underserved when compared to its iOS equivalent. If developers were able to issue the same updates across the board, there would be no reason for MacOS apps to lag behind their mobile counterparts.

Apple is targeting the next versions of iOS and MacOS for the rollout of this new initiative, which has been dubbed “Marzipan” internally. It could be announced at WWDC 2018 in June, but at this point the company’s plans are malleable enough that this timeline could be altered, or the entire project could be scrapped entirely.

The most obvious benefit here is the fact that MacOS could potentially gain access to a wide variety of apps that are currently only available on iOS. It’s easy to see why this is an attractive concept, but the execution of such an idea is of the utmost importance.

Many Universal Windows Platform apps have been criticized because they feel like mobile software running on hardware that it was never designed to support. The key here will be Apple’s efforts to translate touch interfaces to the mouse and keyboard — if interacting with the software feels awkward, users won’t be interested, and developers will have no reason to take advantage of the program.

Mobile

Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.
Mobile

Saving for a vacation? Here are the best apps to help you manage your wealth

Looking to start managing your money, but don't care for intricate software or spreadsheets? Lucky for you, we made a list of the best budgeting apps designed to help you rein in your expenditures.
Computing

Cast your PC and Steam games to your Xbox One with Microsoft’s new app

Available as a free download on the game console, the new Microsoft app brings the WiFi powered Miracast experience already available on Surface Hub and Windows 10 devices over to the Xbox One.
Computing

These are the 6 best -- and free -- antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Old Nvidia graphics cards to get ray tracing support in upcoming driver

Nvidia's RTX ray tracing technology will no longer be limited to RTX graphics cards. An upcoming driver update will add support for low-end ray tracing to GTX 10-series and 16-series graphics cards.
Computing

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…
Cars

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.
Photography

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.
Computing

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.
Computing

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Computing

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.
Computing

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.
Buying Guides

Apple has powered up its iMac lineup, but which one should you opt for?

With new processors and graphics cards for both the 4K and 5K models, the iMac feels like a good option for creatives again. But which should you buy? Here's our guide to choosing the right Apple all-in-one for your needs.