Mac users can be a surprisingly accepting group. We loved the first jet-aged iMacs. We embraced Mac OS X's lickable interface. We even suffered through ergonomically challenging hockey-puck mice. We'll follow Apple anywhere if we can take MacOS with us.

Whereas other software companies have struggled to blend their platforms -- from Microsoft's effort to create universal apps for its Windows desktop and mobile devices to Google's work to bring Android apps to Chromebooks -- Apple has largely had great success getting apps from different platforms (via virtual emulators) and even its own discontinued OSes (through the magical Rosetta translator and 68k emulator) to run effortlessly on Mac hardware.

iOS apps coming to the Mac app store?

We're up for anything, as long as we can keep doing it with MacOS. Which is why MacOS users are sleeping a little better this week after Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president for software engineering, assured Mac users its OS of choice wasn't being merged with the more popular iOS. "No, of course not," Federighi assured developers at WWDC, the company's annual worldwide developers conference held this year in San Jose. "We love MacOS because it's explicitly created for the unique characteristics of Mac hardware," Federighi said during the WWDC keynote. "It makes the Mac able to accomplish almost anything."

But keeping its two OSes separate or making Mac users shop for their apps in the iOS app store doesn't mean that Apple can't reuse some of its own work between its mobile and desktop OSes. And this week, Apple said that's what it intends to do.


Because the two OSes share a lot of the same underlying technology, the work developers will need to do to convert an iOS to a MacOS won't be insurmountable.

First iOS apps for Mac will be Apple's own

Apple said it's bringing four of its own iOS-converted apps to MacOS Mojave this year: Apple News, which provides a personalized feed of news stories from trusted sources; Stocks, which lets you view your stock watchlist, monitor stock prices, and see daily performance charts; Voice Memos, for recording and storing voice memos and other audio recordings in iCloud Drive; and Home, to help you set up and control all your connected HomeKit accessories.

Developers can check out the new app features in the Mojave beta they received this week at WWDC. Apple runs a public beta program for its users, and Mojave may be available from the program as a public beta this summer so you can try out the new features of the OS. An iOS public beta is also expected. Both iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave will ship this fall, Apple said.

Apple, during its WWDC keynote, said third-party developers will then be able to start moving over their own apps for iPhones and iPads to the latest version of MacOS in 2019.

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Clifford Colby follows the Mac and Android markets for He's been an editor at Peachpit Press and a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWeek, MacUser, and Corporate Computing.