Macs may run iOS apps in 2018

Macs may soon run iOS apps

Apple may allow Mac computers to run iOS apps as part of its autumn 2018 macOS software update, according to a Bloomberg report. However, said iOS apps on Mac would rely on mouse and keyboard navigation in lieu of a touchscreen, something Apple remains hesitant to include on Mac computers.

Citing “people familiar with the matter” (Apple declined to comment), the effort to bring iOS apps to Mac is known as project ‘Marzipan’, and is expected to be a marquee feature of the 2018 macOS release. As such, we could see this rumored at Apple’s 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference – where we always see the next versions of iOS and macOS.

Bloomberg’s sources haven’t said whether Apple will merge the iOS and macOS App Stores as part of this push to unify the two operating systems’ (OS) app ecosystems. That said, we haven’t seen a Mac App Store redesign since 2014, so it’s prime time for an overhaul.

Right on Google and Microsoft’s tail – again

For those in the computing scene, this news comes with a strong wave of deja vu. Recently, Google finally completed a years-long project to bring the Android Google Play Store to Chromebooks with touchscreens, with its Google Pixelbook. This allows any Android app to operate on a Chromebook so long as the laptop in question offers touch control.

While Microsoft’s phone business has all but come to a halt, the firm developed Windows 10 and its new Universal Windows Platform – regardless of its debatable success in getting traction for the latter – Windows apps and the OS to support every computing form factor available, from smartphones to desktop computers and everything in between. But, again, without a phones business this may be a moot point.

Apple, of course, has been staunch in its separation of its iOS and macOS platforms, right down to the apps that are available to each and how they’re developed. That said, the firm has in recent years expanded its practice of developing processors in-house for its iPhones and iPads to its Mac computers, with the T1 coprocessor found in the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and since as well as the T2 coprocessor included inside the new iMac Pro.

With rumors abound that Apple will only continue this practice with future Mac iterations, it makes sense for the company’s software division to follow suit where and how it can. Not to mention that its competitors have been at this sort of software unity for years.

While we’re likely a long ways out from a MacBook with a touchscreen, we Mac users may be quite close to clicking rather than tapping to make Mario jump in Super Mario Run. But, since that’s up to the developer, Nintendo needs to get on that – stat.

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Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.