Apple has been working to make the iOS app available and more useful on macOS for some time now. The ability of Macs with M1 chips to run iOS apps natively was no small feature when Apple announced its new chips and hardware.
Unfortunately, Apple is reducing the ability of developers to run any iOS app they want, as the Cupertino company has officially disabled the sideload of the iOS app, 9to5Mac reported.
Apple has made it easier for developers to allow their iOS apps to run on macOS. Because M1-based Macs – MacBook M1, MacBook Pro M1, and Mac mini M1 – are built with the same ARM architecture as Apple phones and tablets, they can run iOS apps without developers needing to use Catalyst. Developers who want to allow their apps to run on macOS don’t even need to change the code, but the keyword here is “allow.”
Not all developers want their mobile apps active in the Mac App store. Even well-known companies like Google and Facebook opted out. To solve this, users can manually install the application’s IPA file using a tool like iMazing and then install it on a Mac, 9to5mac share. Apple’s latest move now blocks this solution in macOS 11.2 and developers as well as the public beta version of macOS 11.2
Solving a solution with a problem
This is a change that won’t make many Mac developers happy. Apple’s move to block the moved apps appears to be in line with the company’s typical way of maintaining control over what users can do.
While macOS can run iOS apps natively, there’s no guarantee that experiences intended to run on phones will translate well to desktop interfaces that don’t even have touch support.
If app developers don’t believe that their iOS app will offer a positive experience running on a Mac, they have good reason not to allow it and avoid the negative feedback they might get otherwise. After all, it doesn’t take much time to read customer reviews that sometimes very negative reviews come from products used in a way that was never intended to be used.
There is a positive side to this situation. Apple hasn’t put any crap on IPA files that you’ve installed or downloaded. According to 9to5Mac, users can still install the app if they’ve already downloaded an IPA file before the January 15 shift, and the preinst installed app will continue to run.
Given the Apple M1-based Mac is still relatively new, it may only be a matter of time before more developers start officially releasing their iOS apps to the Mac App store, once they have time to make changes.