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Why Apple needs iPad apps on the Mac

Why Apple needs iPad apps on the Mac ethereal music – Apples annual developer conference is next week, and if youve been watching my articles, you know that I have a unhealthy obsession with the future of computers. Thats why this year is such a big deal for me, because Apples expected to do two things that just hit me just right in the heart. The first is were expecting them to fix multi-tasking on the iPad, and the second is were expecting them to put iPad apps on the Mac. You know what, the second one is a bigger deal and Im going to explain why, because I have what might be an unpopular opinion. I think Apple shouldnt just double down on iPad apps on the Mac, I think Apple should go all in, it should make all of its consumer Mac apps in this new way, and I think I might be able to convince you. electronic music So, okay, lets just back up a minute.

Last year, Apple announced a sneak peek at a multi-year project at WWDC. The idea was to take an app that was developed for iOS and let it work on the Mac. The codename for this project was Marzipan, and maybe youve heard of that.

Which means that were gonna get iPad apps on the Mac. Now, does that mean that iOS and the Mac are merging? Well, Apples Craig Federighi answered that exact question last year. – No. Of course not. – Does it mean that every single iPad app is gonna suddenly become available on the Mac?

Well, heres my guess. – No. – Does it mean that Macs are finally gonna get touch screens. – No. – Does it mean that iPad apps are gonna be, I dont know, just dumped on the Mac and feel like weird alien programs that arent really Mac-like at all? Yeah, we dont know the answer to that yet. But right now, the answer actually is totally, yes. The apps are bad.

See, Apple started testing Marzipan last year by just trying out on a few of its own apps, so lets look at those apps and see how Mac-like they really are. Come to your launcher, everyone has an Apple Junk folder, and lets start with News, cause its the most egregious example. First of all, it takes a second to load, but I wanna open this in a Tab, I cant. Maybe I wanna open it in, like, Safari, for later.

I could copy the link and paste it, I guess. Also, honestly, resizing here, this needs some work. This is not great re-flowing, but whatever, maybe we can give that a pass. So, lets look at another app, how about the Home app. This app is hilarious, like, first of all, this wants to be touched, it just does.

Second of all, theres more stuff underneath here that you wouldnt know, unless you resized the app, but this is just ridiculous. So, theyre bad, right. But if theyre so bad, why on Earth would I say that I think Apple should make more of them? What gives, well, let me try to explain.

First, I trust that Apples gonna make it possible to make better Marzipan apps, I mean, they cant get much worse. And making better Marzipan apps might actually end up being easier than you think. So, theres this Apple developer named Steve Troughton-Smith and he has been experimenting with iOS apps and a bunch of Marzipan code and Tweeting his results. So lets take a look at some of the stuff he did.

So at first, well just start with Twitterrific, and here it is, you dont see much, its just the info app, but the point is, he was able to make an iOS app for the Mac really, really easily. Here, were looking at Overcast, and whats fascinating about this, is he got a traditional Mac three-column layout, so it feels like a Mac app, even though he didnt have access to the source code for the original app, he was just able to make this work. Here, of course, we just have a nice little weather app, actually, I would love to have this weather app on my Mac.

And then here, if youre concerned that apps that are developed for the ARM processor wont work on an x86 Intel processor, you got a article showing compiling an app to Intel, really, really easily. Steve built his own system, called Marzipanify, and even though these are just experiments, they really do look like successful experiments, so I think we can assume, mostly, that Marzipan apps are going to be better than what weve already seen. But we dont know yet whether theyre gonna be really, truly, Mac-like, in the way that people who care about Macs really want them to be.

To all those people, I say, relax. I think its gonna be fine. If Marzipan apps dont work exactly like the traditional Mac apps that you love, maybe it doesnt matter than much, as long as they just work well.

Or, at least as long as they feel more Mac-like than Electron apps do, wait, Electron apps, whats Electron, okay. Its actually how a lot of the apps youre probably already using on the Mac work, theyre basically little web browsers for a single app, like Slack, or Gmail, or whatever. They also have a bunch of other code, piled on top of it. They slow your computer down, but theyre very easy to make and easy to update. I use Electron apps, and I think a lot of them are actually pretty great.

I also use a lot of Web apps, which basically takes a browser tab and makes it its own separate app. I mean, I would say that 80 of the time, Im using my MacBook kind of just like its a ChromeBook, and I bet Apple hates that. So, do you see where Im going here? iOS apps could save the Mac, from memory- and processor- hogging Electron apps, and it could get a bunch of people actually using apps, and buying apps, again. So, all of that said, here we go.

I think Apple should make most of its consumer apps with Marzipan, it would force Apple to make the Marzipan apps better. I mean, heck, I will go further, I think Apple should seriously consider freezing development on some of its apps and move all of that effort into Marzipan versions. iTunes, photos, mail, messages, contacts, safari, wait, no, not Safari, Safari on the iPad kinda sucks. Leave Mac Safari alone, Anyway, I want Apple to force itself to be like, okay, the iPad version of Mail is the only version of Mail that Mac users inside Apple get to use, and if they dont like it, they have to fix it.

I think they should do the same for as many apps as they can stomach, because if they dont, everyones just gonna use the regular Mac apps that theyve had before. I mean, ask Microsoft how keeping the Windows classic version of Office around, when theyre trying to change apps over to Windows 8 and Windows 10 land. It didnt go well. Will this transition be painful for Apple?

Yes, but I think itll be worth it, and maybe they could ease the pain by making those Marzipan versions available just as betas right now, and then make them the official versions like a year from now. But if Apple goes all in, theyve gonna end up showing other developers the best way to make these Marzipan apps, for themselves. Its gonna force Apple to make these apps really full- featured, and if they do that, you know what else?

Itll make those same apps better for iPad users, and so the iPad could get closer to becoming a real, proper primary computer for people. So, come on, Apple, go for it. All its gonna take is just a little courage. Hey, thank you so much for watching. Thats what Im hoping for at WWDC, but what are you hoping for at Apples Developer Conference?

Let me know in the comments, and then, of course, keep it locked to The Verge, cause its gonna be a huge conference and were gonna cover it all of next week. Why Apple needs iPad apps on the Mac ethereal music – Apples annual developer conference is next week, and if youve been watching my articles, you know that I have a unhealthy obsession with the future of computers. Thats why this year is such a big deal for me, because Apples expected to do two things that just hit me just right in the heart. The first is were expecting them to fix multi-tasking on the iPad, and the second is were expecting them to put iPad apps on the Mac.

You know what, the second one is a bigger deal and Im going to explain why, because I have what might be an unpopular opinion. I think Apple shouldnt just double down on iPad apps on the Mac, I think Apple should go all in, it should make all of its consumer Mac apps in this new way, and I think I might be able to convince you. electronic music So, okay, lets just back up a minute. Last year, Apple announced a sneak peek at a multi-year project at WWDC. The idea was to take an app that was developed for iOS and let it work on the Mac. The codename for this project was Marzipan, and maybe youve heard of that.

Which means that were gonna get iPad apps on the Mac. Now, does that mean that iOS and the Mac are merging? Well, Apples Craig Federighi answered that exact question last year. – No. Of course not. – Does it mean that every single iPad app is gonna suddenly become available on the Mac? Well, heres my guess. – No. – Does it mean that Macs are finally gonna get touch screens. – No. – Does it mean that iPad apps are gonna be, I dont know, just dumped on the Mac and feel like weird alien programs that arent really Mac-like at all?

Yeah, we dont know the answer to that yet. But right now, the answer actually is totally, yes. The apps are bad. See, Apple started testing Marzipan last year by just trying out on a few of its own apps, so lets look at those apps and see how Mac-like they really are. Come to your launcher, everyone has an Apple Junk folder, and lets start with News, cause its the most egregious example.

First of all, it takes a second to load, but I wanna open this in a Tab, I cant. Maybe I wanna open it in, like, Safari, for later. I could copy the link and paste it, I guess. Also, honestly, resizing here, this needs some work. This is not great re-flowing, but whatever, maybe we can give that a pass.

So, lets look at another app, how about the Home app. This app is hilarious, like, first of all, this wants to be touched, it just does. Second of all, theres more stuff underneath here that you wouldnt know, unless you resized the app, but this is just ridiculous. So, theyre bad, right. But if theyre so bad, why on Earth would I say that I think Apple should make more of them?

What gives, well, let me try to explain. First, I trust that Apples gonna make it possible to make better Marzipan apps, I mean, they cant get much worse. And making better Marzipan apps might actually end up being easier than you think.

So, theres this Apple developer named Steve Troughton-Smith and he has been experimenting with iOS apps and a bunch of Marzipan code and Tweeting his results. So lets take a look at some of the stuff he did. So at first, well just start with Twitterrific, and here it is, you dont see much, its just the info app, but the point is, he was able to make an iOS app for the Mac really, really easily. Here, were looking at Overcast, and whats fascinating about this, is he got a traditional Mac three-column layout, so it feels like a Mac app, even though he didnt have access to the source code for the original app, he was just able to make this work.

Here, of course, we just have a nice little weather app, actually, I would love to have this weather app on my Mac. And then here, if youre concerned that apps that are developed for the ARM processor wont work on an x86 Intel processor, you got a article showing compiling an app to Intel, really, really easily. Steve built his own system, called Marzipanify, and even though these are just experiments, they really do look like successful experiments, so I think we can assume, mostly, that Marzipan apps are going to be better than what weve already seen. But we dont know yet whether theyre gonna be really, truly, Mac-like, in the way that people who care about Macs really want them to be.

To all those people, I say, relax. I think its gonna be fine. If Marzipan apps dont work exactly like the traditional Mac apps that you love, maybe it doesnt matter than much, as long as they just work well.

Or, at least as long as they feel more Mac-like than Electron apps do, wait, Electron apps, whats Electron, okay. Its actually how a lot of the apps youre probably already using on the Mac work, theyre basically little web browsers for a single app, like Slack, or Gmail, or whatever. They also have a bunch of other code, piled on top of it.

They slow your computer down, but theyre very easy to make and easy to update. I use Electron apps, and I think a lot of them are actually pretty great. I also use a lot of Web apps, which basically takes a browser tab and makes it its own separate app.

I mean, I would say that 80 of the time, Im using my MacBook kind of just like its a ChromeBook, and I bet Apple hates that. So, do you see where Im going here? iOS apps could save the Mac, from memory- and processor- hogging Electron apps, and it could get a bunch of people actually using apps, and buying apps, again. So, all of that said, here we go.

I think Apple should make most of its consumer apps with Marzipan, it would force Apple to make the Marzipan apps better. I mean, heck, I will go further, I think Apple should seriously consider freezing development on some of its apps and move all of that effort into Marzipan versions. iTunes, photos, mail, messages, contacts, safari, wait, no, not Safari, Safari on the iPad kinda sucks. Leave Mac Safari alone, Anyway, I want Apple to force itself to be like, okay, the iPad version of Mail is the only version of Mail that Mac users inside Apple get to use, and if they dont like it, they have to fix it. I think they should do the same for as many apps as they can stomach, because if they dont, everyones just gonna use the regular Mac apps that theyve had before. I mean, ask Microsoft how keeping the Windows classic version of Office around, when theyre trying to change apps over to Windows 8 and Windows 10 land.

It didnt go well. Will this transition be painful for Apple? Yes, but I think itll be worth it, and maybe they could ease the pain by making those Marzipan versions available just as betas right now, and then make them the official versions like a year from now. But if Apple goes all in, theyve gonna end up showing other developers the best way to make these Marzipan apps, for themselves.

Its gonna force Apple to make these apps really full- featured, and if they do that, you know what else? Itll make those same apps better for iPad users, and so the iPad could get closer to becoming a real, proper primary computer for people. So, come on, Apple, go for it. All its gonna take is just a little courage. Hey, thank you so much for watching.

Thats what Im hoping for at WWDC, but what are you hoping for at Apples Developer Conference? Let me know in the comments, and then, of course, keep it locked to The Verge, cause its gonna be a huge conference and were gonna cover it all of next week.

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