Apple is aiming to make it easier for software developers to make apps for its devices under a multistep program, which has been code-named Marzipan.
According to a report in Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the initiative, the idea is that by 2021, developers will be able to easily create an app once and then have it work across all of Apple’s devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The hope is that this effort will drive the creation of new software, bringing new use cases to Apple devices. Since Apple gets a cut of the in-app purchases and subscriptions, any new apps that are developed will help the company make money as well.
The move comes at a time when the smartphone market is getting saturated and consumers appear to be falling out of love with the iPhone. That, along with longer replacement cycles and a hefty price tag for its newest iPhones, means Apple has been struggling. The company’s pain is particularly pronounced in China, where lower-cost rivals are stealing market share.
Bloomberg reported that later in 2019, Apple will let developers port iPad apps to Mac computers, thanks to a new software development kit that is expected to roll out in the early part of June during Apple’s annual developer conference. Developers will still be required to submit a version of the app to Apple’s iOS and Mac App Stores. With the new kit, developers won’t have to write the software code for the apps more than once.
Bloomberg noted that by 2020, the Cupertino, California iPhone maker will expand the kit so that iPhone developers can convert apps into Mac apps in the same fashion. The report noted that by 2021, developers will be able to merge iPhone, iPad and Mac apps into one app that will be known as a single binary, which also means they won’t have to submit their apps to different App Stores. According to the newswire, the biggest benefit of the efforts will be to make it easier for developers that make apps for Apple devices.