Macs and iOS devices are getting closer to each other in terms of functionality. Apple has announced that they are working on, to bring the best of iPhone to the Mac. As a major initiative to bring both the platforms together they are making it easier for mobile developers to port their iOS apps to the next-generation macOS Mojave desktop platform. The first iOS apps to be brought to macOS will be made by Apple.
Craig Federighi, SVP of Software Engineering has confirmed this at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. The company however denied the idea of merging the iPhone and Mac operating systems into one platform, which was being assumed for years. Apple had made it clear that iOS and macOS will continue to remain as separate products.
As a first phase of the project they have to bring native iOS apps and basic frameworks to macOS. iOS and macOS have separate operating systems with their own separate software libraries, called UIKit used by iOS and AppKit used by macOS. This makes porting iOS apps to Mac difficult.
To overcome this problem, Apple is incorporating part of UIKit into macOS and starting the process with its own iOS apps first. The biggest challenge is that the iOS apps need to be optimized for traditional computer inputs, including Mouse and trackpad input, App window stoplights, Scroll-bars, Resizable windows, Copy-and-paste, Drag and drop.
As this is a multi-year project, Federighi said that porting iOS apps to the macOS desktop environment will not happen overnight.
The macOS Mojave software will now include 4 iOS apps namely Home, Stocks, News and Voice Memo which Apple itself brought from its iOS mobile platform to macOS.
Federighi also said that as there are millions of iOS apps some of them would look great on the Mac. Apple have promised to release the functionality to developers in 2019.