Complete Guide to Install and Run iOS Apps on Mac M1

The gap between iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks has narrowed since Apple began producing its own CPUs. Because the internal CPU architecture is identical, you can virtually flawlessly install and run iOS apps on Mac M1. Of course, ‘almost flawlessly’ is a relative term because the MacBook does not yet have touch screens.

So, if you’ve just gotten your shiny new MacBook M1, running iOS apps on your Mac is simple but tricky. The catch is that Apple does not allow you to install iOS apps on your MacBook. As a result, software that isn’t available on the Apple App Store will be difficult to install on a Mac.

In general, there are two methods for running iOS apps on a Mac M1 chip. Let’s begin with the easy one.

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Install and Run iOS Apps on Mac

1. Download from the Apple App Store

Installing iOS apps from the Apple App Store is the most straightforward way to execute them on a Mac.

1: Simply go to the App Store, type the name of the iOS app you wish to install, and tap Return.

Search iOS apps on Mac m1

2: At the top of the search results page, you’ll find two parts. By default, the App Store only displays results for Mac programs. Click the iPhone & iPad Apps tab to switch to the iOS apps.

Run iOS apps on Mac m1

3: When you’ve found the app you want, tap the Get button to download it to your iOS device.

Install iOS apps on Mac m1

The lack of app availability is a disadvantage of this strategy. The App Store search may not show all iOS apps available for iPhone and iPad. For example, although being available on both iPhones and iPad, Instagram does not appear in the App Store search, as shown in the above example.

Why? This is done by Apple to help consumers avoid installing iOS programs that won’t operate on a Mac. However, sometimes all you need to do is install the applications to try them out or even test one of your own. As a result, you’ll need to use a third-party tool like iMazing, which is outlined in the next step.

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2. Use iMazing App

iMazing is a one-stop-shop for transferring iOS data and backing up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. However, we only need it to download and install iOS apps on our MacBook M1 in our scenario.

1: To do so, go to the official website and download iMazing.

iMazing official website

2: Double-click the DMG file to install the iMazing app after you’ve downloaded it.

Double-click on the iMazing app

3: You will be prompted to input a license code when you start the iMazing software. We don’t require the paid version for our needs. To use iMazing in trial mode, click the Continue Trial button.

Continue trial for iMazing app

4: You’ll be prompted to connect an iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your MacBook in the next step. This isn’t necessary for our needs. As a result, we can skip this step. Just go to the top-level menu, and click on the Configurator option > Library > Apps.

App store in iMazing app

5: There are no iOS apps on the Apps page. We’ll need to import some iOS apps from the App Store. To do so, go to the bottom of the page and click the Add from App Store button.

Add apps to iMazing app store

6: In the app list, type the name of the app and press Return. Take, for example, a search for Instagram. When the app search is complete, click the Cloud icon next to the app name to add it to your app list.

Instagram on iMazing app store

7: You’ll then be prompted to sign in to the App Store using your Apple ID.

lLogin to your Apple ID

8: The app will appear in the Apps tab of the iMazing app once it has been downloaded. However, the job isn’t finished yet. Right-click the app and choose Export .IPA from the menu. The iOS app’s package format is IPA. To install Instagram on a MacBook, we’ll need this IPA file.

Export Instagram IPA from iMazing

9: Navigate to the folder where you want to save the IPA file. The folder’s location is irrelevant, but make sure it’s somewhere accessible, such as Desktop or Downloads.

Save IPA on Mac local storage

10: Now, double-click the IPA file to install the Instagram app.

Double-click the IPA file

11: The application can be found in the Applications folder or on the Launchpad.

Run Instagram iOS app on Mac via IPA

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Final Verdict: Install and Run iOS Apps on Mac M Series

These were the two methods for running iOS apps on a Mac with the new M series. Due to compatibility issues, Apple prohibits you from sideloading iOS apps onto your MacBook. Because of the lack of a touchscreen, iOS apps don’t scale well on a Mac screen and sometimes don’t even work as intended.

It’s best to uninstall an iOS app if you’re having problems with it or if it keeps crashing. However, I’ve been successfully using Instagram, Telegram, and a few other iOS apps on the M1 for quite some time.

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