iOS, Tech, UI Design

WWDC 2018: Your Mobile Apps soon on Mac?

by David Yang, iOS Engineer at Backelite

WWDC isn’t over yet. The McEnery Convention Center and the city of San Jose in California welcome thousands of developers from all over the world every year in June. This edition was rich in new announcements, but one of them remains shrouded in mystery: the arrival of UIKit on Mac platforms.

The opening keynote concluded on the newest version of macOS (named Mojave) with a statement from Craig Federighi, Vice-President of Apple, rejecting the idea of a fusion between macOS and iOS – the operating systems of the firm for their computers and smartphones/tablets, respectively.

However, the two platforms are planned to start converging, if we believe this week’s announcement of the UIKit framework for the macOS platforms.

This project is currently underway at Apple.

To replace things in their context, today’s graphic components constituting macOS and iOS apps are completely different. AppKit is the name of the framework used in macOS while UIKit’s is iOS’s.

Even though they have common layers and share similarities, these two frameworks have evolved apart. UIKit, which appeared with the first iOS version (formerly called iphoneOS), has been considerably enriched with time, but this has not been the case for AppKit.

Apple illustrated this convergence between the two platforms with the arrival of their News & Stocks apps on macOS. Side by side, the similarities between the mobile and desktop apps are clearly visible in terms of design.

Announced for 2019, is it the moment for us to rethink the way we design our mobile apps so they are relevant on a Mac? 

If Apple keeps its promises, it would then be possible to adapt our mobile apps to Mac with little effort.

It would also be a great opportunity to leverage features such as Handoff to provide seamless activity transfer from an Apple device to another (email, phone call or conference, etc.) or iCloud for data sharing.
If everything goes according to Apple’s outlined plan, we can expect this subject to have a central role in the sessions of next year’s WWDC.

Do you have macOS apps? Are you interested in this subject? Do you want to be prepare for this evolution? Reach out  to our teams and be ready for UIKit on macOS!