A new report out of Bloomberg today states Apple is gearing up to launch iOS app compatibility within macOS. In other words, as early as next year, the company could allow developers to develop a single application that would run on both iOS and macOS, two operating systems that have never been integrated in a way like this before. While plans for this feature remain fluid, it doesn’t appear Apple is backing away from doing it.
With this feature, Apple could resurrect the arguably dying Mac App Store
Inspiration for the feature undoubtedly comes from efforts brought forth by both Microsoft and Google. Back in the Windows Phone days, the former introduced the Universal Windows Platform that would let developers release a single application that could then run on laptops, phones, tablets, and PCs. Similarly, the latter recently introduced Android app compatibility for Chrome OS to widen the availability of apps for the platform. In a similar way, Apple could resurrect the arguably dying Mac App Store and bring future releases to a broader audience.
The Mac App Store will likely see a refresh
Bloomberg says its unsure whether Apple will merge the iOS App Store and Mac App Store to create a more unified experience, but at the very least, it seems likely. The Mac hasn’t seen an updated Store since 2014 with the major redesign that came with OS X Yosemite, so a refresh similar to what arrived with iOS 11 this year for macOS 10.14 makes sense.
It’s also worth mentioning that if compatibility with iOS apps on macOS does arrive next year, it means current developers will be able to release their apps for all three major platforms: iPhone, iPad, and Mac. So if you create an app for the Mac, chances are you’ll be able to use it on the iPad in some way.
Since this is the first time we’re hearing of this news, take it with a grain of salt. That being said, we should learn more in the months preceding WWDC 2018 in June.