A major change is coming for the way developers can build their apps across Apple’s devices. Currently, if a developer wants to make an iPhone app, that iPhone app can only work on the iPhone. It needs to code a completely different app if it wants to bring it to the Mac desktop.
All this will change by 2021, according to Bloomberg. By then, Apple will have the software development tools that will allow developers to code an app once and have that single app work on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
This new development initiative is internally known as “Marzipan” at Apple. We’ve actually known about Marzipan since last year at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. That’s when Apple first announced it was bringing some iOS apps–Stocks, Home, Apple News, and Voice Memos–to the Mac, which it did with the release of macOS Mojave in the fall. At that time Apple also announced it would release tools to let devs port their iPad apps to the Mac in 2019.
According to Bloomberg’s report, Marzipan is now a much bolder initiative–and a multi-stepped one. Following iPad apps on the Mac in 2019, Marzipan’s next step is allowing iPhone apps to be easily ported to the Mac in 2020. Those iPad and iPhone app ports to the Mac, however, will need to be their own individual apps. But in 2021, Apple will release the tools that will allow developers to unify all their apps for various devices into one master build so an app need only be coded once and could be installed and run on any of Apple’s main devices.