Tip: This is how you run any iOS app on Apple’s M1 Mac

The new MacBooks with Apple’s own M1 chip bring many improvements. An important addition is that you can also run iPhone apps on your Mac. While not all are available in the Mac App Store yet, it is still possible to download and use iOS apps on an M1 Mac in a roundabout way. That is how it works.

Tip: This is how you can download any iOS app on your M1 Mac

Because the Apple Silicon Macs, like the iPhone and iPad, have their own chip from Apple, you can also download iOS apps on these Macs, even if a developer has not created a separate macOS app. While some developers have withdrawn from the Mac App Store as a result, there is still a way to download iOS apps on these M1 Macs.

To run apps on your M1 Mac, you need the app files. These are folders with a .ipa extension. The files must be linked to your Apple ID so that you cannot just share it with others. Previously it was possible to find these files in your iTunes backups, but that is no longer possible. Fortunately, there is another trick for this.

With the iMazing app you download the .ipa files of apps that you have purchased via your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. The app is actually intended for managing and making a backup of your apps, but now also offers a solution if you want to run the apps on your Mac.

Simply double-click on the iOS apps you want to download on your Mac. The .ipa files will then be installed in your ‘Apps’ folder like any other app. It is of course important that you use the same Apple ID for your iPhone or iPad, as for your MacBook with M1 chip.

How to download iOS apps on an M1 Mac:

  1. Start iMazing on your Mac and connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac with a cable;
  2. Select ‘Apps’ for the iPhone or iPad that is paired with your Mac;
  3. Select ‘Manage apps’ in the tab at the bottom;
  4. Choose ‘Library’ in the window that appears;
  5. Double-click the apps you want on your M1 Mac to download them;
  6. Right-click on the downloaded app from the list and choose ‘Export ipa’;
  7. Then double-click the .ipa file to install the app on your M1 Mac.

IOS apps may not work optimally on your M1 Mac anyway. Developers have sometimes not yet made their apps available in the App Store because they are not yet optimized for the Mac. For example, you can only use the Netflix app in a fixed-size window, and you cannot watch in full screen.

So this method is not entirely bug-free, but it does provide a handy detour to use your iOS apps on the M1 Mac. However, it is not possible to say how long this method will work. The company may at some point put a stop to this.macOS Big Sur review

More about M1 Macs

At the last Apple event of this year, the Cupertino company unveiled its new Apple Silicon Macs with its own M1 chip. This marks a new chapter for the Mac and the company is no longer dependent on Intel, which previously provided the processors in Apple computers.

The first Macs to make the switch are the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (with a 13-inch screen) and Mac mini. Do you want to know more? We have tested the M1 MacBook Air and tell you what we thought of it in our extensive review. Prefer to watch? In the video below we go through our experiences with you.

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