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Universal apps between iOS and macOS aren’t hitting this year

by Justin Herrick | May 1, 2018

Your iPhone, iPad, and Mac run different apps even though their names are the same. Apple, however, would like to change that. Late last year, we heard the company is working on cross-platform functionality that allows developers to have a single app on iOS and macOS. Now there’s an update on the status of the project.

The launch of universal apps was expected at WWDC 2018 in June, but it looks like there’s been a delay.

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Apple will flip the switch on universal apps for third-party developers in 2019, according to John Gruber. The report says the project may not be known as “Marzipan” any longer. Because of its current state, there’s no realistic way to expect a debut at this year’s annual developer conference.

Here’s how the project is described:

“The general idea is that rather than writing classic procedural code to, say, make a button, then configure the button, then position the button inside a view, you instead declare the button and its attributes using some other form.”

Gruber adds that, in 2019, the project should be finished and built-in for iOS 13 and macOS 10.15.

While the plan is for iOS and macOS to run the same apps, Apple still won’t release a hybrid that blurs the lines between a laptop and a tablet. Tim Cook confirmed that Mac and iPad will remain separate into the future. But universal apps is certainly one way to improve the experience not only for developers but for regular users. Apps would look similar on┬áboth platforms and sync perfectly.

Of course, the company could surprise everyone and preview universal apps at WWDC next month. It’s just not likely. Apple is set to introduce iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 there, and much of the details surrounding both versions stands unknown.

As usual, now we play the waiting game. All eyes will be on Apple in a few weeks to see if anything on universal apps debuts at its software-focused keynote.

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Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...


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