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Home / Tips and Tricks / Apple Marzipan brings iPhone apps to your Mac: Everything you need to know

Apple Marzipan brings iPhone apps to your Mac: Everything you need to know



Apple's annual developer conference, WWDC, begins on Monday, June 3. Apple uses the conference to announce pending changes to its operating system suite. That means we can expect iOS 13, MacOS 10.15, WatchOS 6 and TVOS 13. (Here's how to watch WWDC live .)

We already have a good idea of ​​what awaits us in iOS 13, the next version of the operating system for your iPhone after A real Dark mode, a reworked Find My Friends app, iMessage user profiles and possible mouse support for the iPad have leaked out. What we do not know much about right now is Apple's plans for the Mac.

We expect to receive additional information about Apple's plans to bring more iOS apps to the Mac through a project called Project Marzipan . The idea of ​​being able to install and use your favorite iPhone apps on your Mac is incredibly appealing and practical, but will not happen overnight. Let's take a look at what marzipan is exactly, as well as a possible name, the timing, and why it should interest you at all.

  Apple News Marzipan App

Apple News on Mac is the same Apple News app on your iPhone thanks to Marzipan.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

What is the marzipan project?

For Apple, marzipan is not a dessert, but an internal code name. In particular, it's a code name for Apple's initiative to provide developers with the tools to bring iOS apps to the Mac. To be clear, Apple has never called the marzipan initiative directly. It's a name that has leaked into various reports.

We got our first look at marzipan apps when MacOS Mojave launched Apple News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home.

Previously, iOS apps were unable to run on a Mac (or vice versa) because the underlying frameworks differed – or the software code required for apps on a platform. So far, iOS has relied solely on UIKit, while MacOS has used AppKit.

With marzipan, Apple adds MacOS UIKit elements so that an iOS app can run on a Mac.

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Will it really be marzipan?

We doubt it. We do not know what Apple will call these types of apps, but we have a good guess. Currently, Apple names iOS apps developed for the iPhone ($ 1,000 on Amazon) and the iPad ($ 249 on Walmart) as "universal" apps Apple uses the same name for apps designed for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

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At WWDC 2018, Apple stated that there are no plans to merge iOS and MacOS.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Wait, do not we already have universal Apple apps?

Yes, but these apps are currently limited to the iPhone and iPad. There are features like Continuity that allow you to talk to your iPhone on your Mac, or to share clipboard content between your iPad and your Macbook. In retrospect, it becomes apparent that features such as handing over (for example, opening an email on your iPad on your Mac) on your Mac were the precursor to genuine Universal Apps in the Apple ecosystem.

When will more iOS apps come to the Mac?

At Apple's WWDC conference last year, the company announced that iOS apps will be introduced in two phases on the Mac. The first was the release of Apple's own apps on MacOS. In the second phase, Apple promised to provide developers with the tools to port their iOS apps to MacOS in 2019.

Apple's annual developer conference starts Monday, and we expect much more about how marzipan will work Apple announces on Monday that it will only be available to developers later this year, possibly in September when such Apple releases usually take place.

Why should you care?

Look at the difference between the iOS App Store and the Mac App Store in terms of quality and quantity, and it quickly becomes clear that the Mac App Store lacks everything. Developers simply do not spend their time developing apps for the Mac.

However, if Apple can provide developers with a simple tool that takes minutes to build a Mac version of their iOS app, the number of high-end Mac apps is likely to increase.

Theoretically, apps like Netflix, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube could land on the Mac. The long-term goal of marzipan is to combine iOS and Mac apps so developers do not have to choose which hardware to support. You create an app once and it works on all your Apple devices. This is a scenario that benefits users and developers alike.

Not to mention that learning how to use an app version, or finding and maintaining an app you love, is extremely convenient on all your devices.

With luck, we will learn much more about marzipan on Monday during the opening speech of WWDC, which starts at 10am. The Keynote Event will be streamed live if you want to get in and see all announcements of the new features as they happen.

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