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Apple's marzipan will begin to be tasty in 2019



If you don't know, Marzipan is a program at Apple that works to merge aspects of iOS and macOS codebase over time, making life easier for developers. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman first reported on this initiative at the end of 2017, and Apple unveiled the beginning of the program at the 2018 WWDC release. Marzipan is still in her infancy and has only been used by Apple internally to send a few iOS apps to MacOS Mojave.

According to a new report from Gurman, Apple is preparing to expand marzipan to phase two this year. In 201

9, the company will release a new dev set that allows developers to send iPad applications to the Mac. While the apps still need to be sent to each store separately, only one code base must be maintained for the app. This should open the door to many interesting iPad apps to get over to the Mac, and greatly help remedy the much smaller Mac App Store.

In the future, Apple will expand the marzipan program to include iPhone apps, likely by 2020. The ultimate goal is for developers to be able to use not only a single codebase but to create a single app binary that will work for all supported Apple devices. Although this is not spelled out, it is also possible that both App Stores can be merged at this point as well. According to Gurman, this will probably happen in 2021 if things stay on track.

One major distinction that needs to be kept in mind is that Apple does not merge iOS and macOS. Craig Federighi was very specific about this on stage at WWDC last year, and I have no reason to doubt it. Marzipan is about making it easier for developers to quickly and easily port applications between the platforms, not to delete the line between them. If anything, marzipan should help inject extra life into the Mac by bringing some of the creative apps to iOS over to the desktop, rather than doing away with macOS. In other words, Marzipan is very good news for Mac fans.

Gurman's report also refers to how Apple's hardware initiatives can relate to the marzipan. There have been many rumors that Apple wants to introduce a Mac, probably a MacBook, powered by an A-Series ARM processor in the near future. According to Gurman, this can happen as soon as 2020. It is not clear whether the move to ARM is crucial for the full implementation of marzipan for work, which will end up being a key detail. A change away from Intel will probably be a gradual one, which may mean that Marzipan single binaries can only work for some Mac users for a while.

These details come on time, and chances are they also come from Bloomberg and Mark Gurman. It will be interesting to see how it plays out and how Apple's hardware and software plans will end up coming together. Like most things with Apple these days, marzipan will be a slow burn that requires some patience before the payout. But it goes out, if the final result is as good as the rumors, it will be worth the wait.




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