Apple is working on a new type of 'user experience' that combines iPhone, iPad and Mac apps, according to Bloomberg.
The project could see the company produce an operating system and chip platform uniting iPhone and Mac in a way originally envisaged by Canonical with its failed 'Ubuntu for phones' project of 2013.
Bloomberg reporter Marc Gurman noted that although the company has worked hard to intertwine iPhone and iPad apps - which both run Apple's iOS operating system - this doesn't extend to its desktops and laptops, which run MacOS.
"Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPad introduced a novel way of interacting with computers: via easy-to-use applications, accessible in the highly curated App Store," he wrote.
"The same approach hasn't worked nearly as well on Apple's desktops and laptops. The Mac App Store is a ghost town of limited selection and rarely updated programs."
Apple is looking to change this and wants to give people access to "a single set of apps" so that its product ecosystem is less fragmented. Gurman suggested that these apps will work across iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Apple customers have long complained that some Mac apps get short shrift
Although Apple hasn't officially announced the plans, Gurman's sources believe that the company will start by rolling out some sort of framework to software developers next year.
"Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it's running on the iPhone and iPad operating system, or on Mac hardware," he wrote.
Currently, software developers face the challenge of developing apps for two distinct operating systems: iOS and MacOS. This can be time consuming and expensive.
"What's more, Apple customers have long complained that some Mac apps get short shrift.
"For example, while the iPhone and iPad Twitter app is regularly updated with the social network's latest features, the Mac version hasn't been refreshed recently and is widely considered substandard," explained Marc.
"With a single app for all machines, Mac, iPad and iPhone users will get new features and updates at the same time."
This strategy will form an important part of Apple's next major updates for iOS and MacOS
Gurman spoke to leading app developer Steven Troughton-Smith, who believes that these plans would streamline software development.
"Unifying the apps could help the iOS and MacOS platforms "evolve and grow as one, and not one at the expense of the other", he said.
He added: "This would be the biggest change to Apple's software platform since iOS was introduced."
Unnamed Sources claim that this strategy will form an important part of Apple's next major updates for iOS and MacOS.
"Codenamed Marzipan, the secret project is planned as a multi-year effort that will start rolling out as early as next year, and may be announced at the company's annual developers conference in the summer," claimed Gurman.
"The plans are still fluid, the people said, so the implementation could change or the project could still be canceled."
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