Apple plans to unify iOS, Mac apps next year

Do I need antivirus on iPhone or iPad

"I've always felt like Apple's approach to keeping these platforms separate made more sense than trying to force them together a la Windows", Jackdaw Research Chief Analyst Jan Dawson wrote in a tweet. With a single app for all machines, Mac, iPad and iPhone users will get new features and updates at the same time.

A new report by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg is out this morning in which he says that Apple is planning to let developers build a single app that can run on both iOS and macOS. Developers will be able to design a single app that works as well with a touchscreen as it does with a mouse and trackpad. This has had limited success, in part because there's always going to be one or more platforms that developers just don't care to serve. Currently, developers must choose between creating software intended for iOS devices, like iPhones and iPads, and macOS devices, like the MacBook Pro and iMac.

While the shift wouldn't impact iPhone and iPad users, who have access to an incredibly robust App Store, it could be a big deal for Mac users, who don't. The plan could be announced this summer during Apple's annual developers conference where iOS 12 will be previewed.

The report notes that plans could always change, but it sounds like the combined apps could become available next year.

ZDNet has reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post should we hear back. Similarly, Apple Watch developers are now constrained by the system as to how their apps can look, function and behave.

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"The UWP (Universal Windows Platform) provides a guaranteed core API across devices", Microsoft explains on the system's website.

Now developers have to develop two versions of the same app to work on both iOS and macOS.

Would you welcome universal Apple apps? Several years ago, the company began designing its own processors for iOS devices.

It's unclear whether this means Apple will merge its App and Mac stores into one unified store, but duplication seems unlikely.

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