Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Dec 2017 23:04 UTC

Mark Gurman:

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, according to people familiar with the matter.

Developers currently must design two different apps - one for iOS, the operating system of Apple's mobile devices, and one for macOS, the system that runs Macs. That's a lot more work. What's more, Apple customers have long complained that some Mac apps get short shrift. 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. With a single app for all machines, Mac, iPad and iPhone users will get new features and updates at the same time.

Apple currently plans to begin rolling out the change as part of next fall's major iOS and macOS updates, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. The secret project, codenamed "Marzipan", is one of the tentpole additions for next year's Apple software road map. Theoretically, the plan could be announced as early as the summer at the company's annual developers conference if the late 2018 release plan remains on track. Apple's plans are still fluid, the people said, so the implementation could change or the project could still be canceled.

This is a massive change in Apple's direction. The company and its supporters have always held fast to the concept that there should be two distinct and different operating systems with two distinct and different user interfaces, very much the opposite of what Microsoft is still trying to do with Windows Metro applications and their Surface line-up. This change is basically a complete embrace of Microsoft's vision for the future of computing.

This will have tremendous consequences for both iOS and macOS. For iOS, it probably means we get more advanced, fuller-featured applications, and I think this also pretty much confirms we're going to see a mouse pointer and trackpad/mouse support on iOS in the very near future - just as I predicted earlier this year. For macOS, it might mean a broader base of applications to choose from, but also possibly a dumbing-down of existing applications. A number of Apple applications already work very much like the article states, and they certainly lost functionality on the macOS side of things.

On the more speculative side, this could be the next step in deprecating macOS, which is, in my unfounded opinion, still Apple's ultimate goal here. Note how Apple isn't bringing macOS applications to iOS, but vice versa. Make of that what you will, but I wouldn't have too much faith in the long term viability of macOS as a platform distinct and separate from iOS.

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RE[2]: This never works.
by Alfman on Thu 21st Dec 2017 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE: This never works."
Member since:


That said, I'd appreciate the OPTION of running Android apps on my Linux machine.

Maybe I'm just lazy, but I quite like some of the things I've only seen in F-Droid, like an Interactive Fiction runtime which provides a SCUMM-like alternative to constantly re-typing the most common commands.

I upvoted you even though I find mobile apps to be inferior on the desktop. For instance, I strongly prefer banking on the desktop than on the phone, but the bank decided that they don't care about traditional desktop users like me and will not offer any new features like echeck to us. To make matters worse, my phone won't take macro photos, so I can't use the feature at all.

I've tried to run my bank's app in several emulators but the experience thus far has been too broken that I gave up and continue to handle checks the old fashioned way, sneakernet. ;)

Edited 2017-12-21 00:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: This never works.
by zima on Sun 24th Dec 2017 21:44 in reply to "RE[2]: This never works."
zima Member since:

What's with the US insistance on using checks (I think I saw one last time in the 1990s, never used them myself), why can't you just make transfers to account numbers? (say, from bank website)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: This never works.
by Alfman on Mon 25th Dec 2017 05:31 in reply to "RE[3]: This never works."
Alfman Member since:


What's with the US insistance on using checks (I think I saw one last time in the 1990s, never used them myself), why can't you just make transfers to account numbers? (say, from bank website)

Actually I'm not entirely sure, it may be due to legal reasons and fees. Most employees get paid through "direct deposit", which at least in the past could take a couple weeks to set up, in the meantime you'd get checks. I've never been paid any other way. There are lots of proprietary services, like paypal, but they can be notorious for high fees and blocking access to funds, ugh. One client wanted to pay me through paypal, but I would have needed to set up an account and pay a high percentage of the transaction costs, so I told him I'd accept it if I could raise my rate by the same amount as I'd be he paid by check, haha. Most businesses generally pay with checks since US banks don't get a "cut". It might have to do with strict legal protections that were on the books and haven't been touched in eons.

How does it work for you guys?

Reply Parent Score: 2