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A fresh report Wednesday corroborates previous rumors that standalone versions of Apple’s media apps will be coming to macOS — and it could mean that iTunes’ days are numbered.
Developer Guilherme Rambo, writing for 9to5Mac, was able to independently verify a past report suggesting that Music, Podcasts and Books apps were coming to a future version of macOS (likely macOS 10.15). Rambo found evidence within Apple code, but also verified the report with sources familiar with the matter.
According to that past report by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, the Music and Podcasts apps will be part of the next wave of Apple apps developed using Marzipan. As a refresher, that’s Apple’s cross-platform technology meant to make iOS and macOS apps easier to port without major code changes.
Marzipan doesn’t indicate that iOS and macOS are merging, only that Apple plans to create more unified first-party apps across its platforms. In macOS Mojave, for example, it brought Apple News, Stocks, Home and Voice Memos to the Mac for the first time.
The Books app will also see a major redesign, but Rambo says it isn’t clear whether it will also be made using Marzipan technology.
While details are scarce about what the new Music or Podcasts apps could look like, 9to5Mac was able to obtain the supposed icons for the upcoming platforms.
The sites also noted that the Books app will feature a sidebar similar to News, a narrower title bar, and refreshed organization throughout.
The new media apps will launch alongside an overhauled TV app that Apple announced back in March. Naturally, with music, podcasts and books contained within their own macOS apps, it could mean that we are finally beginning to see the break up of iTunes.
The iTunes app will still be in the next version of macOS, however. As Rambo notes, Apple doesn’t have a tool or app manually syncing and managing iOS devices with a Mac (or PC). So the iTunes app will likely remain on the macOS platform for the foreseeable future, even as its usefulness wanes.
It’s also worth noting that Music, Podcasts and Books are likely to remain macOS exclusives for the time being. Because of that, iTunes is unlikely to go anywhere as a standalone app for non-Mac operating systems until Apple releases an alternative.