Apple wants to make it easier for software coders to create tools, games and other applications for its core devices in a scam – an overhaul designed to encourage app development and ultimately increase revenue.
The ultimate goal of the Multistep initiative, codenamed "Maripan", is by 2021 to help developers build an app once and make it work on iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, people know the effort . It should spur the creation of new software, which increases the use of the company's gadgets.
Every new app is another revenue opportunity for Apple, because it cuts many app-related purchases and subscriptions. The company has positioned its service division as a major growth area. It plans to announce two new services ̵
Later this year, Apple plans to let developers send iPad apps to Mac computers through a new software development set that the company will release as early as June at its annual developer conference. Developers will still have to send separate versions of the app to Apple's IOS and Mac App Stores, but the new set means they don't have to write the underlying software code twice, the people knew about the plan.
By 2020, Apple plans to expand the set so that iPhone applications can be converted to Mac apps in the same way. Apple engineers have found this challenging because the iPhone displays are so much smaller than the Mac screens.
In 2021, developers will be able to merge the iPhone, iPad and Mac applications into an app or what is called "single binary". This means that developers do not have to submit their work to various Apple App Stores so that iOS apps can be downloaded directly from Macs – effectively combining the stores.
The plans are fluid and can be changed, the people said. They asked not to be identified to discuss private matters. A spokeswoman for Cupertino, Calif. -Based Apple, refused to comment.
The most direct benefits of the marzipan project are to make life easier for millions of developers writing software for Apple devices. For example, later this year, Netflix could more easily offer a Mac app to watch video by converting the iPad app. In 2021, Twitter, which has mostly left the Mac, can publish a single app for all Apple customers.
Apple previewed the app plan, without handing out the road map, at the conference last year. Bloomberg News first wrote about the initiative in 2017.
The work coincides with the company's preparations to merge more of the hardware bases. Currently, iPhones and iPads are powered by Apple processors, while Macs use Intel chips. Apple plans to start transferring some Macs to its own chips as early as 2020, Bloomberg News said last year.
Despite the app merger plan, Apple has said it will not combine iOS and macOS into a single operating system.  Apple is not the first company to streamline its app ecosystems. Before Microsoft stopped Windows for phones, it pushed a technology called Universal Windows Platform that allows developers to create individual applications that would run on all devices. Similarly, Google has carried its Android mobile app store to some laptops running its Chrome OS operating system.
Apple plans to hold its annual software conference from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, California. at the MacRumors website.
At the event, Apple also plans to debut new software features for its devices, including a darker mode for easier night vision and new iPad productivity tools. The company also internally weighed the preview of a new version of the high-end Mac Pro, according to people familiar with the deliberations.