Apple could be planning to combine iOS’ and macOS’ apps together under one unified ecosystem, something many industry observers have been hoping the tech giant would do for a number of years, according to a new report stemming from Bloomberg’s often reliable Mark Gurman.
The report indicates that Apple has plans to allow developers to create apps that will adapt to whatever platform they’re running on, similar to Microsoft’s now essentially dead Windows 10 Universal App Strategy, the company’s effort to create apps that run across Xbox, HoloLens, Windows 10, Windows Phone and even the Surface Hub. This means that apps will support touch input for the iPhone and iPad and mouse and trackpad input on the Mac. Google implemented a similar strategy by bringing Android apps over to Chrome OS.
Bloomberg says that Apple plans to make the announcement at some point next year, likely during the company’s annual World Wide Developers Conference, though also emphasizes that the company’s plans could change.
If there’s truth to these rumours, this could fundamentally change the fabric of Apple’s ecosystem. While macOS already has a handful of useful apps, iOS offers a significantly more vibrant ecosystem full of hundreds of thousands of useful applications. It’s important to note that mobile developers would need to adapt their apps to run on Apple’s desktop operating system.
It’s unclear if Apple’s desktop operating system would emulate parts of iOS, or if the Cupertino-based tech giant will force developers to create two versions of every app — one designed for touchscreen-based devices and another with trackpads and mice in mind, for macOS.