Earlier this week, it was reported by 9to5Mac that Apple is planning to begin blocking users from sideloading iPhone and iPad applications to their M1 Macs. Now, Apple has officially announced that it has turned off users’ ability to install iOS apps onto their M1 Macs unofficially. This means that an app such as iMazing is no longer possible to use on your M1 Mac.
While you can still find iOS apps in the Mac App Store, many apps, such as Dark Sky, don’t have their developer’s approval to be run on macOS. Up until now, you could manually install iOS apps like Netflix, Facebook, and Instagram on an M1 Mac by using their respective IPA files downloaded under a valid Apple ID.
Many people were using tools such as iMazing to complete this process, but it seems like Apple has remotely disabled this. Apple has flipped the necessary server-side switch to block iPad and iPhone applications from being installed on Apple Silicon Macs.
According to 9to5Mac, the message on the most recent macOS 11.2 beta is more specific: “the application cannot be installed because the developer did not intend for it to run on this platform.”
This move by Apple is not surprising as Code was found in the beta indicating a ban would be coming, and the iPhone maker has given developers power to block their apps from running on the Mac — a power that is undermined by sideloading. However, it is sad for Mac users to see the feature go, as they have been used to having more freedom in what programs they’re able to run than they do on iOS.
An already sideloaded application from your iPhone or iPad on your M1 Mac will still run properly. This change only affects new application installations, and if you had previously downloaded a.IPA file, you could still install it.