Apple Confirms it is Bringing iOS Apps to the Mac

Posted on June 4, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, iOS, Mac and macOS, Mobile with 60 Comments

Apple Confirms it is Bringing iOS Apps to the Mac

Apple today admitted that it will do the obvious and bring iOS apps to the Mac. But not until 2019 at the earliest.

As you may recall, the first rumors that Apple would merge its iOS and macOS platforms appeared late last year. At the time, I opined that this was a great idea and that, if anything, they were moving too slowly given the dearth of Mac-specific apps.

Apple, curiously, denied these rumors in April, with CEO Tim Cook stating that “if you begin to merge the two, you begin to make trade-offs and compromises.” But it turns out he was just pulling a Steve Jobs, that pesky liar.

During the WWDC keynote address today, Apple’s affable Craig Federighi admitted that Apple was indeed bringing iOS apps to the Mac. But he did so after a cute rhetorical question about Apple “merging” iOS and macOS. Which I don’t think anyone ever asked for or expected.

Whatever: The point is, Apple will bring iOS apps to the Mac and it will do so in a way that makes sense: In measured steps, as part of “a multi-year project” where the firm will work to map the Mac’s input methods—keyboard and trackpad—to work well with the mobile apps. It will test this functionality in-house only this year, and then bring it to external developers in 2019. If all goes well, this could appear in macOS as soon as September 2019, I guess.

“There are millions of iOS apps out there,” he said. “And some of them would be great on the Mac.”

Absolutely true. I’m just impressed it took them so long.


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