Apple blocks users from sideloading iOS apps on M1 Macs

Apple blocks users from sideloading iOS apps on M1 Macs

Soon after Apple launched its M1 Macs, a tool was released that allowed users to sideload unsupported iOS applications. A few months later, and Apple has blocked this workaround.

Up until now, users were able to download the tool iMazing and install unsupported .IPA files. That meant users could run iOS apps like Netflix and Instagram, which aren’t available to download on M1-equipped Macs. But a server-side update from Apple has now made doing this much more difficult, if not impossible.

“The change itself was made to the App Store system that delivers the actual .IPA file and it is all part of Apple’s APIs that manage the DRM (Digital Rights Management) protections of the operating system,” 9to5Mac explained. “Because of this, it’s unlikely that a workaround will present itself in the future.”


Credits: 9to5Mac

An error message displays when users attempt to sideload an iPhone or iPad app on an M1 Mac running macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta. The popup explains that iOS apps that are sideloaded can’t be installed because “the developer did not intend for it to run on this platform.” Users running macOS Big Sur 11.1 are also met by an error message.

When the M1 chip was introduced, it opened up the potential for iPhone and iPad apps to run natively on its newest machines. And while many apps are available to download through the Mac App Store, developers can opt-out of their apps being made available on the Mac. As a result, a lot of popular apps aren’t yet available for M1 Macs, hence why sideloading was such a big deal.

As Apple moves its entire lineup of Macs exclusively to M1 chips (or whatever successor is to come), hopefully, these developers will make their apps available. 9to5Mac said if you have apps that are sideloaded on your M1 Mac, they should still run. But if you try to install new applications, you’re out of luck.

About author

Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.

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