In an exclusive interview with WIRED magazine, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi has shared some of the technical details how iOS apps will run on Macs. He also revealed that the frameworks for porting iOS apps to the Mac have been in development for almost two years.
“The point of this is not to create a single unified OS”, Federighi said. He continued that Apple is working on bringing an iPhone software framework over to Mac and making it native to Mac, rather than using some type of simulator or emulator.
Just like developers are currently able to target an iPhone or an Apple TV as the device where their app will run, they’ll soon be able to target the Mac as well. Federighi, however, emphasized that your Mac won’t start behaving like an iPhone.
“It’s still macOS, you still have the Terminal, you can still attach four monitors to it, you can still hook up external drives,” he said. Federighi specifically mentioned Fortnite as a candidate for porting. He also said he could picture certain websites like IMDB, Yelp, or DirectTV having native desktop Mac apps.
Federighi added that he doesn’t think the touchscreen laptops out there today—which he referred to as “experiments”—have been compelling. “I don’t think we’ve looked at any of the other guys to date and said, how fast can we get there?”
Federighi noted that how an iOS app is distributed on the Mac and how much it costs will still be up to the developer. He also hinted that developers may get access to the tools required for porting iOS apps to Mac around WWDC 2019.