With the latest beta Xcode development tool, Apple announced a new nifty feature that will allow app developers to sell cross-platform apps as a single “Universal Purchase.”
A user can buy these universal apps as bundles to run them across iOS and macOS.
Now, Apple’s “Universal Purchases” option sounds pretty much like Windows’ Universal Windows Platform(UWP) apps, which Microsoft has been using for years.
Microsoft’s UWP apps can run across all Windows devices, including PCs, tablets, Xbox, Internet of Things, and Microsoft HoloLens. So, it looks like Apple is following Microsoft’s approach by making things easier for the users.
Apple’s Universal Purchase option will be out in March 2020.
Universal Purchase for Mac/iOS apps! 😱 pic.twitter.com/9yNrDmwvWD
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) February 5, 2020
According to the company, the app developers will be able to sell iOS and Mac apps as combinations. This feature will also allow developers to unify in-app purchases and subscriptions across platforms.
However, developers will have the liberty to decide if they want to take the benefit of this feature or not. So, it’s not like every app on the App Store will be available as a universal purchase.
The company also says that the App Store categories will be unified across the iOS and Mac App Store. This update in the App Store categories will make the apps more “discoverable” for users.
The announcement of the “Universal Purchases” feature is one step further for Apple’s Project Catalyst Initiative, which aims at merging iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps into a single app.
Also, Apple states that this feature will be available for both Mac Catalyst and non-catalyst apps. So, the company is going all in.