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Apple to introduce new tools in 2018 to unite iOS and MacOS user experience

Apple is planning to introduce new tools in 2018 to help unite the user experience between its iPhone and iPad devices running iOS and its Mac desktops and laptops running MacOS. 

That is the claim in an investigation from newswire Bloomberg.

Reporter Marc Gurman noted that although the company has worked to make the experience between iPhone and iPad apps seamless, this doesn’t extend to its more traditional line of desktops and laptops.

“Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad introduced a novel way of interacting with computers: via easy-to-use applications, accessible in the highly curated App Store,” he wrote.

He continued: “The same approach hasn’t worked nearly as well on Apple’s desktops and laptops. The Mac App Store is a ghost town of limited selection and rarely updated programs.”

Apple is looking to change this by giving people access to “a single set of apps” so that the divide in its product ecosystem is less jarring. Gurman said that these apps will work across iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Although Apple hasn’t announced these plans officially, Gurman’s sources believe that the company will begin rolling out some sort of framework to software developers in 2018.

“Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it’s running on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware,” he wrote.

Currently, software developers face the challenge of developing apps for two distinct operating systems: iOS and MacOS. This can be time-consuming and expensive.

“What’s more, Apple customers have long complained that the Mac would appear to be low down Apple’s list of priorities. For example, while the iPhone and iPad Twitter app is regularly updated with the social network’s latest features, the Mac version hasn’t been refreshed recently and is widely considered substandard,” said Gurman.

“With a single app for all machines, Mac, iPad and iPhone users will get new features and updates at the same time.”

Gurman spoke to leading app developer Steven Troughton-Smith, who believes that these plans would help streamline software development.

“Unifying the apps could help the iOS and macOS platforms “evolve and grow as one, and not one at the expense of the other,” he said. “This would be the biggest change to Apple’s software platform since iOS was introduced.”

People familiar with the situation claim that this strategy will form an important part of Apple’s next major updates for iOS and macOS.

“Codenamed Marzipan, the secret project is planned as a multiyear effort that will start rolling out as early as next year and may be announced at the company’s annual developers conference in the summer,” according to Gurman.

“The plans are still fluid, the people said, so the implementation could change or the project could still be canceled.”

Further reading

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