Apple Plans to Combine iPhone and Mac Apps by 2021: Report

In a move that could significantly simplify the work of those developing applications for Apple devices, Bloomberg reports that Apple is aiming to enable them to create just one app serving both mobile and Mac computers by 2021.

Currently, separate apps must be developed for iOS, the operating system behind iPhones and iPads, and macOS, the software system that powers MacBooks and other Mac computers.

According to the report, Apple’s multi-step initiative, codenamed “Marzipan,” will spur the development of software for Apple devices, with developers needing to come up with just one app.

This certainly matters in the video market, where companies like Charter Communications, just for example, have to create multiple Apple software iterations for streaming services designed to run on Apple devices. For video, the big unanswered question is whether tvOS, the operating system that powers Apple TV, is also included in Marzipan.

Apple isn’t commenting.

Later this year, Bloomberg said, Apple plants to let developers port over their iPad apps to Mac computers using a new software development kit. Developers will still need to submit separate versions of their app to Apple’s iOS and Mac App Stores, but the new kit will mean they don’t have to write two different versions of the same underlying software code.

In 2020, meanwhile, Apple plans to release an SDK allowing the same convenience for iPhone apps. And by 2021, Mac application development would, under the plan, move to what is known as a “single binary,” merging iPhone, iPad and Mac applications into one app submitted to a single app store.

Bloomberg said that the leading edge of the plan could be unveiled in June at Apple’s annual developer’s conference.

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!