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Apple Brings iOS Apps Into Mac, But Won't Merge Platforms (cnet.com) 46

Stephen Shankland, writing for CNET: With its next-generation MacOS Mojave software, Macs will be able to run some apps written for iPhones and iPads, a big new step in bringing the two technology platforms closer together. Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, announced the change Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose. And he said Mojave will include four apps Apple itself brought from its iOS mobile software to MacOS: Home, Stocks, News and Voice Memo. "There are millions of iOS apps out there, and we think some of them would look great on the Mac," Federighi said. For now, it's only Apple that has the ability to move iOS apps to MacOS. But that'll change in 2019.

Apple Brings iOS Apps Into Mac, But Won't Merge Platforms

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  • for how long?

  • How hard would it be for Apple to include an iOS emulator for the Mac that could run regular iOS apps? Sure it's a different instruction set, but that's a long solved problem. They even have the big multitouch trackpad so you don't have to work too hard to emulate gestures. I'm pretty sure they already have this for developers, so it shouldn't be that hard, although I'd prefer it if they put in a little effort to make it seamless on the desktop. You could install an iOS app just the same as a regular Ma
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They have an emulator in XCode. However, the user experience is terrible, and that's the value that Apple brings - a user experience that doesn't completely suck.

      By bringing frameworks and APIs closer together, it allows the developer to make an app people would actually want to use, instead of some garbage emulated not-quite-right touch UI that barely works, otherwise known as Windows 8.

      • They have an emulator in XCode.

        Technically they have a simulator. When you build your Xcode project, it is actually compiled twice: once for the target iOS device, and once for Intel x86_64. When you run your code in the simulator, it's running native Intel code, and not emulating the iPhone/iPad processor as in a full emulation environment.

        It's worth being aware of the subtle differences. You can get huge performance increases in your code in the simulated environment, as you effectively have full access to the x86 CPU's processing

      • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

        Actually Apple is doing pretty much exactly what Windows 8 did, since WinRT was a set of universal APIs with targeted compilation. There was no emulation involved.

        Sure it sucked, but it's hardly fair to compare Apple's 2019 vaporware with an OS Microsoft released back in 2012.

      • by jandrese ( 485 )
        The problem with that emulator is that it emulates an entire phone screen, not just one app. There's no OS integration which makes for a terrible experience.
    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @05:03PM (#56727426)

      There's no guarantee the computer has a trackpad because of the Mac mini, iMac and Mac Pro.

      • There's no guarantee the computer has a trackpad because of the Mac mini, iMac and Mac Pro.

        There's a lot you can do without multitouch, though. Most things I do on my phone could just as easily be done on an emulator with a single traditional mouse pointer. Make the emulator treat the scroll wheel (or modifier key + scroll wheel) as a pinch/stretch zoom gesture and that'd cover almost everything.

        • Already tried it. There's a simulator in XCode that does exactly that. And it makes for a terrible user experience.

          What Apple are doing now is the right approach for user facing apps. Make iOS apps compilable for OSX, but allow for changing the things that are different on the desktop OS. Like resizable windows, typing and editing with a real keyboard, target sizes suitable for mouse pointer rather than finger, different transitions, a menu etc.

        • I have a Mac app directly hand-ported from iOS years ago - and there's clearly something missing. It would certainly not be better with automatic porting or emulation.
      • Last I visited an Apple store, the iMacs were controlled by those magic touchpad things.

    • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @06:12PM (#56727746) Homepage Journal

      Merging the experience in a way that doesnâ(TM)t force the developers to think of the different interaction results in things like Windows CE or Windows 8.

      Importing an application in this context can be easy, by ensuring the best user experience for a given device is another story.

  • I had to buy a Windows laptop in order to run some SDR software I had to work with. Then they released a nice version of the software in iOS. But my main platform is a Mac.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I might be able to go Windows free again. Then I can give the laptop to someone I don't like.

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      2004 called to let you know that Macs can run Windows now.

      • 2004 called to let you know that Macs can run Windows now.

        But its still Windows, with all the update fun that Microsoft provides.

  • The sooner Apple allow iO/S apps to run on Macs the better.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun