Apple decided to let developers build unified Mac and iPad apps and only charge users once, reversing course after criticism last year.
The technology giant made the disclosure on Wednesday as part of early beta releases for new iPhone and iPad software, called iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4, and accompanying upgrades to its Xcode app development tool.
According to Apple, the new software “supports building and distributing macOS apps as a universal purchase.” The company also said this will be “enabled by default” for apps created with the new developer tool.
Apple’s Catalyst initiative helps developers write apps for iPads and easily port them to Mac computers. However, developers still had to sell their iPad apps and Mac apps separately, charging users twice. That spurred complaints.
Wednesday’s change will also apply to iPhone and Apple TV apps, the company said in a statement on its developer website. It also announced that it is adding support for in-app purchases to Apple Watch apps, potentially adding more recurring revenue to the product.
Apple is said to consider merging its App Stores as early as 2021.