Apple to Reportedly Combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac Apps by 2021, SDK Coming This June

Apple is reportedly planning to let developers create a single version of their apps that’ll work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Back in 2017, Bloomberg first reported that Apple is planning to follow this same path as Microsoft to create a unified app platform that will allow app developers to target both iOS and macOS devices, code-named project “Marzipan.” Today, Bloomberg reported some new details about this project.

The report explains that Apple will release a new software development kit this year to enable third-party developers to port iPad apps to macOS. The release is expected at the 2019 WWDC, which will reportedly take place from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, California.

In 2020, Apple will reportedly enable third-party iPhone apps to run on the Mac. Apple engineers have found this challenging because iPhone screens are so much smaller than Mac computer displays.

The Cupertino company’s ultimate goal, however, is to combine all the different platforms and turn it into a single, universal App Store — much like Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform in Windows 10. Cupertino plans to achieve this by 2021, allowing developers to make apps for iPhone, iPad, and Mac with a single code base, or “single binary,” and submit them through a single, combined App Store.

According to the report, Marzipan is careful to focus on app development processes and not actually combine Apple’s iOS-based devices with its macOS-based products. Instead, the company would keep its operating systems and devices separate. The only change here would be in streamlining the app development experience and providing an easier way for software to get to all of Apple’s products.

The move makes sense for Apple as the company shifts to focus more on services. Combining app stores and making apps work seamlessly across its mobile devices and computers will likely increase app downloads and sales overall. The future App Store with Marzipan, along with other things like iCloud, Apple Music, the company’s forthcoming TV streaming service and subscription news services, and others, will contribute to Apple’s goal of growing its services business.