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Apple Rumored to be Preparing for a Huge Shift in 2018 Towards Common Apps that could run on both macOS and iOS

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Way back in 2012 Patently Apple posted a report about the possibility that Apple would one day converge their desktop and mobile platform. To Microsoft's credit, Windows 10 finally delivered on that promise of providing one operating system that could run on PC and tablets. In that same year we posted a report titled "Apple Not Challenging the Hybrid Ultrabook could be a Big Mistake." It was in that report where Apple's CEO was asked if Apple would compete with the coming Wintel hybrid Ultrabook that will double as a tablet. Cook's sarcastic response was that "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user."


Now with Microsoft's Window 10 now ready to work on Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm in 2018, it's going to take PC's to another level with always connectivity as was formally announced earlier this month, one year after the first announcement.


For consumers, students and the enterprise market, being able to run important apps on all your devices is a huge advantage and now Apple may be thinking of making a similar shift in 2018 if the latest rumor pans out.


According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, "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. For example, while the iPhone and iPad Twitter app is regularly updated with the social network's latest features, the Mac version hasn't been refreshed recently and is widely considered substandard. With a single app for all machines, Mac, iPad and iPhone users will get new features and updates at the same time.


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 the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. Codenamed "Marzipan," the secret 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 canceled."


As noted at the top of our report, Gurman repeats that "Apple wouldn't be first to bring mobile and desktop apps closer together. Before it discontinued Windows software for smartphones, Microsoft Corp. pushed a technology called Universal Windows Platform that let developers create single applications that would run on all of its devices -- tablets, phones, and full-fledged computers."


In the end, Gurman notes that "Apple's apps initiative is part of a larger, longer-term push to make the underpinnings of its hardware and software more similar." For more on this read the full Bloomberg report here.


Whether Apple will go as far as Microsoft's Windows 10 or not isn't known at this time, but as we noted in 2012, it would be a great move if Apple finally made that shift that's long overdue.


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