Is Apple readying iOS apps for Lion?
Thursday, Apr 14, 2011

Yesterday several Apple blogs noticed a temporary glitch in the iOS App Store listing some apps as available for 'ix.Mac.MarketingName' in addition to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. There's much speculation that this could refer to a new iOS device, and I think they're right, in a fashion.

Screenshot of Prompt in the iOS store

My bet is that Mac OS X Lion, currently in beta, will support an iOS runtime allowing apps written for iOS to run on the desktop, either as small windowed apps like the current Mac Twitter client, or as dashboard widgets.

The Mac runtime is already very robust, and Lion's increased emphasis on multitouch may pave the way for iOS-like gestures on the desktop. It's worth noting that not all apps are getting the 'ix' treatment, and it may be that only those whose interactions mesh well with mouse-and-keyboard interactions are opted in at the moment.

At any rate, it's certain that the bit-flip was not meant to have a public-facing effect and the bug has already been fixed. I expect we'll find out more about the interleaving of Mac OS and iOS this June at WWDC.

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Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
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I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

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