What it is: The latest rumor claims that Apple is working on a tool that lets developers create dual iOS and macOS apps.
At one time if you were a developer, you had to write two different apps to run on iOS: one for iPhone and one for iPad. That meant creating one user interface for the iPhone and one user interface for the iPad. Then Apple made it easy to write a single iOS app that could run on both the iPhone and iPad, simplifying the development process.
Of course, if you wanted to write one program for iOS and another for macOS, you run into this same problem of two different user interfaces. If you use Xcode and Swift, the code base for both apps can largely be the same but you’ll still need to design an iOS and a macOS user interface. That may change this summer based on rumors of Project Marzipan.
The idea behind this rumor is that developers will be able to write a single app and user interface, and Xcode will take care of customizing the user interface for both iOS and macOS. This will allow the vast library of iOS apps to suddenly morph into macOS versions. So rather than develop and update a separate iOS and macOS app, developers will just need to update a single project that will magically create both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and macOS apps.
If this actually occurs, this means if you use Xcode and Swift, you’ll be able to create apps that reach the massive iOS and smaller macOS market. Instead of two separate App Stores (one for iOs and one for macOS), Apple will be able to offer a single app store for iOS and macOS.
For developers, this will greatly simplify creating apps while offering a lucrative market. For consumers, this will give them more software choices.
The key, of course, will be that developers will need to use Xcode and Swift. That means if you’re interested in creating apps, you should avoid rival tools that won’t let you easily create iOS and macOS from a single code base.
This will help tie developers into Xcode and the Macintosh, which will further help consumers choose the Macintosh with its growing software library. Toss in the ability of a Macintosh to run Windows in a virtual machine and a Macintosh will soon have the largest available software library in the world.
If you’re a developer, learn Xcode now and forget about rival tools that won’t be able to keep up with Apple’s rapid changes. If you’re just a consumer, get ready to see your favorite iOS apps appearing on the Macintosh.
Project Marzipan may not be real, but given Apple’s ability to create tools that hide complexity, this could further attract developers to Apple’s platform (Xcode and the Macintosh). Now if Xcode gets ported to iOS, that means developers will be able to use an iPad or Macintosh to create apps, and that can open a whole new world of possibilities in reaching out to more potential customers.
Project Marzipan may not be real, but chances are it’s close to what Apple envisions. The company will continue finding ways to make their products more appealing and Project Marzipan could just be one of them.