New universal Apple platform to reportedly combine macOS and iOS apps

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What's more, Apple customers have long complained that some Mac apps get short shrift. Currently, developers need to design two different apps, one for iOS and one for macOS.

Bloomberg sources say the universal functionality will be aimed at boosting the barren wasteland that is the Mac App Store. Application teams that wish to target both mobile and desktop users must now build a separate version of their software for each of Apple's operating systems.

According to Bloomberg, Apple intends to roll this out as part of the iOS and macOS fall updates (version 12 and 10.14, respectively, if numbering remains in keeping with current versions) that usually arrive for consumers alongside new iPhone hardware in the later part of the year. While Apple attempted to recreate the "walled garden" of iOS software on its desktop and notebook machines, developers have been more cautious, often opting instead to release in the more traditional manner rather than via the Cupertino firm's own download store.

Bloomberg warns that the plans are not set in stone, timings could change, and perhaps cancelled altogether.

In the past, developers have been forced to create separate apps for iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

The idea of a universal platform is nothing new.

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However, after years of theorizing and speculation, Apple is reportedly trying to bridge the gap between its desktop and mobile stores, by enabling developers to create a single app that would be compatible with both platforms.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bringing parity to the apps across both platforms will surely be a boost for developers.

That would make it easier to create a single operating system for all Apple gadgets, something Microsoft has already done with its desktops, laptops and Surface tablets. Chief executive officer Tim Cook has resisted doing so, arguing that merging iOS and macOS would degrade the experience.

Marzipan may be more like Rosetta, the platform Apple includes with earlier versions of macOS so users could still run macOS 9 applications.

New app downloads - not including reinstalls or updates - approached 26 billion worldwide, the app specialist found. Thanks to all those downloads, total app revenue approached $17 billion, which represented a 28% annual increase.