Apple M1 Tidbits: Running iOS Apps With .IPAs, Running x86 Homebrew Apps, Accessing macOS Recovery and More

Apple's New M1 Macs began arriving to customers earlier this week, and since the M1 Apple Silicon is an entirely new chip architecture that's a major departure from the Intel chips that Apple has used for years, there's a lot to learn about the new machines.

m1 chip macbook air pro
We've rounded up some useful Apple M1 tidbits below, which apply to the new Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro and will be useful for new Mac owners.

Running x86 Apps Homebrew Apps

The developers behind the Notion app for Macs shared a blog post on getting homebrew or other terminal apps that don't have Arm support to run on an ‌Apple Silicon‌ Mac. The steps are as follows:

  1. Create a duplicate of the Terminal app in the Utilities folder.
  2. Right click on the app and choose Get Info.
  3. Rename the other version of the app into something recognizable.
  4. Check off the "open using Rosetta" option.

That's all there is to it. Once Open using Rosetta is selected, homebrew apps can be run in the Terminal on ‌Apple Silicon‌ Macs.

Running iOS Apps Using .ipa Files

MacRumors reader Amy tells us that she's able to run iOS apps that are not available on the Mac App Store on ‌Apple Silicon‌ apps using .ipa files.

Legitimate .ipa files that are downloaded from iTunes or something like an iMazing backup can be double-clicked and installed on an ‌Apple Silicon‌ Mac and they run as if they're on an iOS device. Amy says that she's used this method to install Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Spotify, and more, even though those apps are not available through the ‌Mac App Store‌.

Universal and Native Apple Silicon Apps

Looking for apps that are able to run natively on ‌Apple Silicon‌ Macs without the need for Rosetta 2? Our forums has an extensive list of all of the apps that have been updated for the Apple M1 chip, and it's worth checking out if you're looking for software that's going to have the best performance.

Apps updated with support include Affinity Photo and Designer, Aviary, HandBrake, coconutBattery, iStat Menus, OmniFocus, Pixelmator Pro, and tons more.

Gaming on Apple Silicon

Wondering how games run on an ‌Apple Silicon‌ Mac? A reddit user took the time to benchmark and test a long list of popular games to see how they run on an M1 ‌Mac mini‌ with 8GB RAM. Test games include League of Legends, Cities: Skylines, Starcraft 2, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, and more.

How to Get to macOS Recovery

On Intel Macs, you hold Command R when turning on the Mac to get to macOS Recovery for reinstalling macOS, accessing Disk Utility, or restoring from a Time Machine backup.

On an ‌Apple Silicon‌ Mac, you can still get to macOS Recovery, but the key presses are different. Turn on the Mac, press and hold the power button until the startup options window comes up, and then click on the gear icon that's labeled "Options."

More Tips

Know of a useful M1 Mac tip that we've left out? Let us know in the comments and we'll add it to the list.

Top Rated Comments

WiseAJ Avatar
1 week ago
Anyone else amused by the article title including both .IPA and homebrew? Lol ?
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TestUs Avatar
1 week ago

I'm confused; did Apple not say all iPhone apps would be available on ARM Macs? Why are these apps not?

Developers are allowed to opt out of being available on the Mac App Store if they so choose.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
1 week ago
This begs a question, does it allow older versions of .Apps (IPA) to run on M1 macs.

"Running iOS Apps Using .ipa Files"
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mmendoza27 Avatar
1 week ago
Okay, ended up getting an iOS app installed on the machine. Here is what I did:

1. Followed the Apple Configurator instructions here:

This will allow you to download an IPA to your Mac and when you double-click the IPA, it installs the app in your Applications folder.

2. However, this will not initially work if you try and open it. You'll need to use Terminal and use xattr to recursively go through and change the permissions. I had to do this with sudo. So it looked something like this:

sudo xattr -rd [path to the app]

Once you do this, you should be able to open the app. Obviously these apps are not fully optimized but they work. It's better than nothing!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikeboss Avatar
1 week ago
Target Disk Mode (which in fact is no longer called TDM)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chumps52 Avatar
1 week ago
Link to the Notion blog post, as it's not linked in the original article. ('')
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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