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Apple Bans Sideloading iOS Apps on M1 Macs

This week Apple disabled iOS app sideloading on M1 devices running macOS 11.1. While Apple try to wrangle iOS apps onto M1 Macs they're running into some trouble. There are some developers who have decided not to allow their iOS apps to run on Apple Silicon. Prior to macOS 11.1, users had the option of sideloading apps that they had purchased for their mobile device. Major companies like Google and Facebook have disallowed this in their apps.

This is exactly the sort of authoritarian behavior from Apple that rubs me the wrong way. Their Walled Garden philosophy feels more like a prison for consumers and their rights. I'm infuriated by the idea that users are limited in how they can use their lawfully purchased apps.

David Harry explores what happens when you attempt to sideload, or even run previously sideloaded, apps.

Video Description:

So with the recent Mac OS Big Sur 11.1 or a beta version of 11.2 updates on your Apple Mac M1 device, I'm using a M1 Mac Mini but this also applies to the MacBook Pro M1 and MacBook Air M1, Apple have now banned the sideloading of certain iOS Apps on M1 Mac computers.

So for those of us who were looking forward to taking advantage of Apple's new Apple Silicon M1 ARM chip and specifically the ability to run iOS Apps natively, as iOS Apps on iPad, iPad Pro and iPhone also use ARM processor chips. This news has come as a bit of blow.

I was really looking forward to playing Fortnite on the Mac Mini M1 or any other Mac with the Apple Silicon M1 chip and was also looking forward to playing PUBG Mobile, COD Mobile and a bunch of other iOS games natively on my Mac Mini M1.

So as it stands now, using applications such as iMazing to transfer, copy and run your iOS Apps from your iPad or iPhone to your M1 Mac computer, isn't going to work for a whole load of Apps.

Don't forget, what makes this more disappointing is that unlike jailbreaking an Apple device to play games or run apps that weren't downloaded form the App Store. Simply sideloading an iOS App on your M1 Mac isn't like trying to bypass your iPad or iPhone security as you would with one that is jailbroke. Sideloading in this instance is perfectly safe and legal and doesn't bypass any security what so ever in the way you would if you Jailbreak your iPhone, iPad or any iOS device.

Anyway, so there goes my video about how to sideload iOS apps on M1 Mac :) and playing iOS games on Apple Silicon M1.

Reader Comments 11

Does this seem like a sign that Apple didn't think this through? Or is it more that they were surprised by the reactions that they got from some developers?

It seems like this could have been avoided by designing some kind of platform compatibility option switch. So developers can have that option to switch it on (perhaps for an additional fee).
January 20, 2021  | favorite_border stub
How does this relate to universal apps like model 15, or do they just provide different binaries?
January 20, 2021  | person Charlie
ive bought so many apps.. if they all work on m1 (i'll probably get one when they next itteration comes out) ... i'll be happy... from what ive seen so far they seem limited to ios ipad screen size.. (i havent checked recently though).

as i get older i cant be bothered with roms, sideloading etc.. all that stopped with ripping ps1 / dreamcast games..
January 20, 2021  | person Re5etuk
Apple does this and much more, because we let them by still buying their stuff.
January 20, 2021  | person Okeribok
@stub that's exactly how it already works. Devs can choose to make their apps available on MacOS using a switch (per app). But at the moment that likely results in a significant increase in maintenance and spending 100% more time answering support emails with no additional sales. I pass for that privilege, which would also require me to invest in a new Mac which I don't really need.

Moog always work with Apple (who probably make it worth their while) to showcase new AUv3 features, so that explains why they're one of the few to really go universal the official way.

So Apple are absolutely doing the right thing here: leave it up to the makers of the apps to decide how and where they want their apps to be available and at what pricepoint.
January 21, 2021  | person_outline Bram Bos
On January 21, 2021 - @Bram Bos said:
@stub that's exactly how it already works. Devs can choose to make their apps available on MacOS using a switch (per app).

Isn't that exactly backwards? They can choose *not* to? Just got my M1 Mini yesterday, and my App Store shows hundreds and hundreds of my old apps, most of which are essentially abandonware. Even stuff like GPS apps that make no sense on a Mac Mini.

@Tim, I disagree with your slant on this one.
While Apple try to wrangle iOS apps onto M1 Macs they're running into some trouble.
Apple isn't running into some trouble. They made iOS on M1 possible. Their part works. Apps that are designed for a tablet touchscreen are very likely to need significant work for a satisfactory user experience. That will have to be up to the devs. There are also many many games in my App Store list. I don't expect them to be particularly playable. Why would they be? They're all touchscreen. Many involve tilting the tablet. As Bram says, allowing devs to decide if and when their apps run seems entirely appropriate. Give it time. Some devs will open up. If they choose not to, that's not on Apple.
January 21, 2021  | person nottooloud
On January 21, 2021 - @Bram Bos said:
So Apple are absolutely doing the right thing here: leave it up to the makers of the apps to decide how and where they want their apps to be available and at what pricepoint.
I am persuaded by your argument with regards to the increased need for support, but without the
reciprocal remittance. From the point of view of developers like you, that would be unfair. But for all of the thousands of customers who are affected by this it feels anti-consumer. Since we're still playing in this nearly unsustainable realm of ridiculously cheap apps, I guess I'm more sympathetic to developers on this one. I wouldn't want to have to deal with all the support emails either.

On January 21, 2021 - @Bram Bos said:
Moog always work with Apple (who probably make it worth their while)
Yeah, like breaking the rules.

I tried to find the article here, but it is ancient at this point. Long long ago, in a galaxy that didn't even have Audiobus:

Audankia's SoundPrism was initially rejected because it included MIDI as an IAP. Apple said this was unacceptable, since CoreMIDI was provided for free to all developers. So instead they had to release and maintain SoundPrism (without MIDI) and SoundPrism Pro.

Then Moog show up and they get to put a MIDI Tax in Animoog and Apple has been allowing MIDI IAPs ever since. I'm not even mad at Moog about that, because shit, that's a great deal for them. Apple's fickle consistency with the rules for developers seems to be a bad deal for everyone.
i was going to buy an M1 purely for Mozaic, boy am i glad i read Bram's comments first
January 21, 2021  | person_outline bee
On January 20, 2021 - @Charlie said:
How does this relate to universal apps like model 15, or do they just provide different binaries?
That's a really great question – We recently did an interview w/ the head of engineering at Moog. Converting Model 15 to be universal for Silicon was a time-consuming effort. Depending on how an app is built and what it does, it's a non-trivial task to port a complex music app to Silicon.

For example, the Silicon Dev Machines that a select few devs were allowed to purchase from Apple in advance don't run AUv3 plugins in Logic the same way new M1 laptops do (!)
So far, it's a wild ride. And very expensive for developers to buy all the tech to keep up.

Full interview will be on YouTube soon. Great guys, the Moog team.
January 22, 2021  | touch_app analogmatt
On January 22, 2021 - @analogmatt said:
Full interview will be on YouTube soon. Great guys, the Moog team.

I'm greatly looking forward to that! Was it just Cyril or was Geert in on the call? I love the guys there too!
On January 22, 2021 - @Tim Webb said:

I'm greatly looking forward to that! Was it just Cyril or was Geert in on the call? I love the guys there too!

It's with Geert – he was just promoted to be head of the entire software division (for their hardware, apps, and beyond!)
January 25, 2021  | touch_app analogmatt
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