Rumors of Apple’s plans to bring macOS and iOS closer together have been rampant ever since Bloomberg shared details of what it called Project Marzipan, and today Apple took the wraps off of what can only be described as the first step in that process.
Announced during the opening keynote of WWDC, Apple’s confirmation that iOS apps are coming to the Mac will be of no surprise to many, although the timescales involved may be a slight disappointment.
During today’s announcement, Apple said that it plans to bring the iOS UIKit to the Mac as part of a multi-year project to get iOS apps into macOS. In fact, Apple has already made a start with the next version of macOS, named macOS Mojave, with a number of its own stock apps making the move over. While macOS Mojave will ship to customers later this year, though, developers will not be able to do the same with their own apps until 2019.
While the work required to move iOS apps to the Mac has already started, the requirements should not be underestimated. As Apple itself pointed out, the company needs to consider how iOS apps will act when faced with the different usage afforded by a Mac. Namely, the inclusion of things like scroll bars, resizable windows and, of course, trackpad input.
Apple has clearly found a way to move its own stock iOS apps like Apple News, Home, Stocks and others to macOS Mojave, with the company saying that it took minimal code changes to make that happen.
Developers will find out just how minimal those changes are for themselves this time next year. That’s quite a wait, which is uncharacteristic of Apple, though, as has been made clear, so are the circumstances in this case.
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