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: https://medium.com/xcnotes/how-to-download-ipa-from-app-store-43e04b3d0332

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 com.apple.quarantine [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)

https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/transfer-files-a-mac-apple-silicon-mchlb37e8ca7/11.0/mac/11.0
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. ('https://www.notion.so/Run-x86-Apps-including-homebrew-in-the-Terminal-on-Apple-Silicon-8350b43d97de4ce690f283277e958602')
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...