A unified operating system between iOS and macOS is the wet dream of many developers of Apple platforms.
Currently, despite the facilities offered by the Apple development kit, there are still two different apps, one for iPhone and iPad and one for Mac. This could change soon according to Mark Gurman, who warns that next year developers can create universal applications.
The main problem of development in iOS and in macOS for many is the extra effort involved. It is one of the reasons why the App Store is collapsed with quality apps and updated while the Mac App Store seems desert. And is that developers prefer to focus on the app that generates more users, currently the iOS before the macOS. This could be different if the same app is also compatible with the Mac.
As indicated by Mark Gurman on Bloomberg after talking to different internal sources of Apple:
Starting next year, software developers can design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it runs on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware.
Unifying development is not unifying the system (at the moment)
If this is true, in the next WWDC of June 2018 we could see the announcement of this unification of the development of apps. And we must emphasize this because a universal app does not mean a universal operating system.
While it is true that it is a step forward to reach that common operating system on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, at the moment it would only mean that apps could work on all three devices. Similar to what happens on the iPhone and iPad with universal apps, but also extended to computers.
There is one thing to keep in mind, for Apple it is important that the user experience remains appropriate. That’s why despite the fact that other platforms have already created the convergence with universal apps like Windows, at Apple things are different.
Tim Cook has said it on more than one occasion, they could easily create convergence, but they need to be able to continue offering the same user experience. That is why we may see more a convergence in development than in the user experience.
Would we have a single App Store? It is not something that is very clear at the moment. In the same way that as the sources say, it is a project (under the name ‘Marzipan’) that could well go on, it could be canceled. Of course, as indicated by Mark Gurman a year ago, the development teams of iOS and macOS merged.
We all understood that this meant less news for macOS, but in reality, it was a preview of this new exclusive. For now, we will have to wait for more details to come to light, or simply to confirm that it is a project that is not going anywhere, and the apps will continue to be developed separately.