iPhone and iPad Apps Coming to Macs With Apple Silicon, Developers Can Manage Availability in App Store Connect

Apple today shared a video with more details about the availability of iPhone and iPad apps on future Macs with custom Apple processors.

iphone ipad apps on mac apple silicon
Macs with custom Apple processors will share the same Arm architecture as iPhones and iPads, meaning that they will be able to run many iOS and iPadOS apps without any modifications or recompilation. Like traditional Mac apps, these iPhone and iPad apps will be distributed through the Mac App Store, with in-app purchase options carrying over.

A notice in Apple's developer portal says that all new and existing compatible iPhone and iPad apps will be made available in the Mac App Store on Macs with Apple silicon, unless developers uncheck the "iOS App on Mac" box in App Store Connect. There is no obligation for developers to extend their iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac.

iphone and ipad apps on mac notice
Following years of rumors, Apple confirmed its plans to switch to custom processors for Macs during its WWDC keynote this week, promising industry-leading performance per watt. Apple said it plans to ship the first Mac with its own silicon by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years.

Apple said that it will continue to support and release new versions of macOS for Intel-based Macs for years to come, and it also confirmed that it still has some new Intel-based Macs in development in the interim.

Related Roundup: macOS Big Sur

Top Rated Comments

Starrwulfe Avatar
15 months ago
I don’t understand why some people are shooting down the ability to use iOS apps on Macs. It helps the entire ecosystem bring and keep mindshare and improves the application landscape. Think of how many developers there are that are cranking out great apps for iOS/iPadOS but have zero interest/time/knowledge to bring their app to Mac.

For example, I like using Apollo for accessing Reddit. The dev is a one-man shop and is passionate about his app— active in forums, twitter and so forth and constantly bringing improvements to it. His app is so good in fact, I have grown to abhor the traditional way of going through the web browser to get to Reddit and usually wind up reaching for my iPhone or iPad even while sitting at my Mac with a 26” screen in front of me. I would LOVE to see an Apollo for Mac but I know it won’t happen since the dev can’t find extra time to even knock out a Catalyst version right now.

The same with my favorite photo editing app (Affinity) and favorite lightweight video editing app (Lumafusion), all of which would be greatly appreciated and welcomed whenever they could run on my Mac.


One pressing question I've not seen answered is that for ARM Macs will the App Store be the only place to get software?
This is the question indeed. I would say no, and that ”sideloading” will always be a platform differentiator for MacOS along with it being able to run things in VMs and container. Otherwise you’ll have Macs become iPad Pro Ultra Extreme.

I’m still going to need command line apps like brew, ffmpeg, vim, ssh, tmux, python, and nodejs to work in my environment. But since they all work in current ARM systems like Raspberry Pi, then I would expect no worries on MacOS 11 on ARM. Mac devs use these tools too and they would need for them to work too.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
15 months ago
Those icons in the dock are hideous. I don't think the icons should be unified between macOS and iOS, but if that must happen, use the icons from iOS, don't just take the Mac icon and throw a white rounded square behind it. That's just ugly.

Also... now that iOS apps are on macOS... what about the new iOS Widgets? Those seem kind of analogous to apps that live on the right side of the status bar...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eatrains Avatar
15 months ago
This is a bad move. Let each platform be true to itself...
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Speedy2 Avatar
15 months ago
This really won't find much resonance. Apple themselves have rightfully stated again and again, that touch-based and pointer-based applications each need their own distinct UI.
Anything that tries to do both in one will inevitably suck. See Windows 8.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
topdrawer Avatar
15 months ago

Not sure how much of a "mega" game changer this is. They have Android apps for Chromebook, and Android apps for Windows (BlueStacks), and apparently nobody realizes its a thing...
what does that have to do with macs?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
15 months ago
Not sure how much of a "mega" game changer this is. They have Android apps for Chromebook, and Android apps for Windows (BlueStacks), and apparently nobody realizes its a thing...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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