And then the Mac is losing what should be its primary audience through unwanted innovations and otherwise stagnant hardware, and a failure to recognize the importance of catering to the power users who might want an actual escape key, multiple types of ports, and a keyboard that doesn’t feel like it came off a rejected tablet accessory.
I can see an argument for fragmenting the laptop world into Pro/developer hardware and consumer hardware. But Apple seems to have got the needs of those groups mixed up. Do Apple’s own software engineers love the newest Macs I wonder?
While I agree with most of the post, the “Mac is losing people” narrative isn’t supported by the numbers. Apple just reported its highest revenue quarter for Macs in its entire history.
The industry has spoken, statistically, no one cares about PC software. Writing Mac software even less. I would rather live in a world with cross platform iPad/Mac apps using Apple’s SDKs than Electron apps.
PC software matters because it’s still the only platform that enables scrappy non-expert _go-getters_ to get things done. Despite the announcement of “real” Photoshop for iPad - Hello? Binary 8bf plugins? Where are you?), Apple’s continued devotion to the Walled Garden concept and associated prohibition on extensible iOS applications - combined with the high barrier-to-entry to develop for Apple’s ecosystem means that the PC will always be relevant.
As an aside, it’s kinda funny that VBA macros copypasta’d together by individuals with little to no formal SE or CS training provide more utility-per-MB-of-RAM-consumed than Electron apps.
They don't mean a single app with the same UI. They mean adapting UI (different for touch vs desktops) and sharing the same backend code.
Which of course is a great idea.
But that's not what Marzipan does. It runs existing iOS apps unchanged.
The expectation is, I think, that they’ll adapt the UI More significantly eventually.
I’m afraid that Apple will be making the Mac more like iOS with any new kind of convergence, not the other way around. We’ve seen this with the directly ported News app on macOS Mojave. Until iOS supports the beginning-to-end software development cycle (no, Swift Playgrounds doesn’t count), they’ll keep the Mac around, but it’s obvious that the “Pro” userbase is no longer of much significance to Apple. Content creators who use Macs produce much less revenue for Apple than the hordes of people who buy new iPhones every year or two.
Edit: they’re called Marzipan apps: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19207757
For the price, I should not have to run to my laptop every time I want to do something serious.
Until you hear it corroborated by multiple independent sources, don't give anything surprising they say about Apple much credence.
This is already the case: the Marzipan apps shipping with Mojave are _shockingly_ bad (Home, News, Voice Memos). Standard keyboard shortcuts don’t work, drag-and-drop is inconsistent, and it’s clear that they never considered standard Mac features like multiple windows while designing them.
I worry that people will look at these badly-ported, out-of-place apps and say “Apple are doing it, so why can’t we?” rather than “Even Apple could only come up with this, so let’s not.”
Apple could get real "real world feedback" if they have released the actual framework, not stuff made with it.
In my opinion apple released them as preview because they have made the apps, wanted to have them in the release, but knew that people would see that they are weird, look into the .app container and see that they are not made using AppKit.
I am pretty sure that there are a lot of hardcore Mac users in Apple and any of them would see that these are not good Mac apps.
I want my desktop apps to be dense and feature rich professional applications. My phone apps are relatively simple tools.
I don’t understand why.
I ask my iPad apps to be as dense and powerful as my desktop apps. In particular, the screen sizes are mostly similar now, processing power is on the same ballpark, and if anything the iPad has more potential than the laptop from a design perspective.
So macOS <-> iPad parity.
Then there's no technical reason to not have iPhone <-> iPad parity.
You end up with the chain desktop <-> iPad <-> iPhone
I am asking for this.
>I want my desktop apps to be dense and feature rich professional applications. My phone apps are relatively simple tools.
No reason not to share the same codebase, with extra tools and UI widgets shown depending on whether they run on Mac or iDevices.
Means more apps for Mac and more apps for iOS. And not with the crappy Electron wrappers.
It likely is more of a win for desktop devs as they'll presumably have an easier way to get their apps to iOS, or perhaps for game devs to have fewer requirements to port games.
There has probably been a decline in companies wanting to bother expending the effort to produce a separate AppKit version of their application solely to be able to target macOS.
If an AppKit version is off the table, then between:
- No app
- A web app
- An Electron app
- A Marzipan app
The Marzipan paradigm suddenly seems more appealing to Apple and Cocoa-faithful end users.
I still have no idea why. Just because you can bang a nail in with a screwdriver, it doesn't mean you should when you've got a perfectly good hammer.
A lot of times I want to do something and it feels like the apps are holding me back just for the sake of being excessively simple. I've had this feeling on both Android and iOS
Or sometimes I'm on the go, with no tablet or computer and I still want to do something advanced, even if the phone screen is small.
Besides there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to hook up my phone to an external display/mouse and get a full desktop experience. (Samsung is ahead of the pack in this, but the apps are still "mobile" versions that are not as fully fledged as their desktop counterparts)
Was it just lack of active phone / tablet marketshare, or was there a fundamental technical reason it didn't take off?
A consistent well executed vision is required to pull this off. Apple haven't done it yet because it's that hard to work out how to do it without causing the above.
On the other hand, if we had to rely on keyboard cases, there might be better options than what we have today - e.g. I've heard a lot of good about this Razer mechanical iPad Pro keyboard although it's obviously very bulky: https://www.macworld.com/article/3115739/input-devices/razer...
Resize the window (it's terribly slow). Mouse hover states aren't even there. Bouncing over-scroll is still present. The speed at which Apple can successfully make this not-awful is probably a good indicator of them trying to make it ship for all developers.
I seem to remember Microsoft do exactly this same kind of thing as they were on their downward trajectory?
Having UIKit available on macOS doesn't mean you port over your iPad GUI and call it a day; you would still write a desktop GUI. But by having the same API means that your business logic and glue code doesn't get infected with quite so much platform-specific crap like UIColor vs NSColor.
In software, Eclipse is the perfect counter argument. It does nothing well, imho. Sketch is the opposite, singular focus = quality experience.
My phone serves a purpose and I expect apps to be bite sized experiences and quick data points.
My computer serves a completely different purpose. The applications should be equally focused on that purpose
Meanwhile people are doing https://blog.adafruit.com/2019/02/14/the-spudwrite-single-pu... in their backyard.. says something
Specifically, some of the "elder statesmen" of Apple commentariat see Marzipan as a threat to the old Mac indie app ecosystem. I get that, and I think that there are definitely some aspects of the old paradigm that are at risk (ie, AppleScript integration, etc).
However, I'm giving Apple the benefit of the doubt here.
1) Apple is unmatched in their ability to design user interfaces. It is entirely possible that they will come up with a solution for cross-paradigm interface that works, or come up with a system to "translate" an interface for multiple target paradigms.
2) Apple has a history of successfully pulling off large transitions like this. In fact, they might be the only company that has done this successfully multiple times. (That is, architecture change and UI framework migration).
On top of that, I think all the doubt and suspicion has to be weighed against the following upsides:
1) The upside for the Mac is enormous. The sheer amount of software that could immediately become available on the desktop would probably be the worlds biggest inflow of software to any operating system, ever. And, it is, for the most part, good software.
2) This is mostly a move on behalf of developers. I get the "but no one asked" responses, but the developer story here is probably one of the major reasons Apple undertook the work (that and ARM).
3) This is Apple's answer to Electron for the Mac. It will undoubtedly be better in user experience, performance, and resource usage. (We will have to wait and see whether it is successful, though).
Stephen Troughton Smith  has had one of the most refreshing takes on Marzipan that I've seen. He maintains an open source tool  that will get your iOS app to run on Marzipan.
 - https://twitter.com/stroughtonsmith
 - https://github.com/steventroughtonsmith/marzipanify
I'm sure management would love to know they could get a mac app for free as well, but I wouldn't imagine it would look like a native mac app.
But the UX is so fundamentally different that I'm afraid the majority of the applications will be pretty awful on the Mac as mobile is less information and feature dense while having a smaller screen.
What could be really great is having feature dense UI's on the larger iPad Pro's since they do have the screen real-estate but often it's underused.
Once they add this (and a mouse to iPad); then we can have the best of both worlds
Desktop is driven by a pointer (mouse/trackpad) and keyboard, both with high degrees of fidelity. iPad and iPhone only have touch. (iPad has a keyboard as an afterthought, and the support for it is inconsistent even within the OS itself).
I have used iPad Pro exclusively for last 3 years for python coding and office work and not sure what you mean by it.
As I tried to work on it the way I work on my laptop, I would continuously run into an impedance mismatch. What I could tab to I now had to touch. What I could reach with my mouse/trackpad, I now had to touch. What I could select with my mouse/trackpad, i now had to touch. Multiple gestures and keyboard shortcuts ingrained into me by my laptop usage failed on the iPad because the software was never built to be controlled via keyboard.
MS tried doing combining desktop and mobile twice, and it failed. I have no idea why Apple thinks they can do it with any degree of confidence.
That sentence has too many happy adjectives - something which seems to be endemic in the Apple world - and could have been lifted straight from an Apple advertising campaign, the latter in no small part due to the use of the word unleash which thrives in that context.
I think there's probably a case to be made when the app you're building is "mobile first," so you (as the developer) inherently do not want a richer, more feature-filled UI on the desktop. In that case, there's value in having a single UI to maintain and for that UI to be familiar to the user in both places.
Honestly we already discussed this when Marzipan was announced. I guess the news here is just the years they're targeting? Regardless, a lot of the comments here are worried about what the headline implies, which is much more sinister than "a fast and clean way to make an iOS-focused UI app also work on the Mac." And there are already live examples on macOS that actually work fairly well!