How to use all the iOS apps on a Mac M1...

IOS apps can run directly on new Macs with M1 processors. Some, however, are not downloadable (nor visible) from the Mac App Store, because their publisher deemed it irrelevant to authorize this mode of operation.. Because they prefer the Mac user to go through their website or because the app uses capabilities specific to iPhone.

IOS apps that their developers have not planned to be distributed by the Mac App Store

A smart user nevertheless quickly posted on Reddit a very easy way to bypass this limitation and use, for example, apps from Netflix, Instagram and many more on a Mac M1.

In short, all you have to do is get the .ipa file (the executable binary) of the iOS apps on your Mac. The only caveat is that you have to use apps purchased or downloaded from the App Store with your Apple ID, not that of a loved one.

You can use iMazing to access apps from your iPhone. It is a very good multifunction utility, translated into French and which offers a free mode. The manipulation then is not rocket science:

  • Connect iPhone to Mac
  • Select ” Manage apps »In the central column then enter your Apple ID.
  • Click on the ” Library »At the top then choose the apps to download from your purchase history on the App Store.
  • Select the downloaded app (s) in iMazing, Ctrl + click on it and select ” Exporter .IPA »To save them in a folder on the Mac

When you open these .IPA archives, it extracts the app to the ” Applications From macOS and you can then open them normally. In the capture below we have the Netflix app (which works very well but the DRM blocks the image when capturing the screen), the Arte app, that of Nuzzel (a utility to follow trends in your Twitter timeline), and those of Instagram, WhatsApp and Crédit Agricole.


Then the experience varies. When the app does not exist in iPad version, you have to resolve to a small vertical window. This is the case of Instagram which, for lack of anything better, will be discreet in a corner of the screen. But the software is perfectly usable. You can post photos that they’ll take to your macOS photo library or that they’ll capture with the Mac’s webcam (there was a black screen in the app the first time, but it worked then).

Post with Instagram’s iPhone app from your Mac M1

Netflix and Arte play their video content normally. The second window is resizable, the other is fixed. For the Crédit Agricole app, everything also seems to work, with the presentation of the interface as on the tablet. The activation of Touch ID is proposed for identification, you can then use it with the ad-hoc button on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air M1.


There are however apps that will pose a problem, as was the case with WhatsApp. From its launch she noticed that she was not in her natural environment. Could not go further than the error message.


For all of these apps, if you have any doubts about how to navigate their interface, go to the menu with their name and choose ” Touch Alternatives »To see what the touch gestures correspond to on the keyboard and trackpad.

This is an interesting method since it completely opens the doors of the Mac to iOS apps, but as we can see, there are limits and constraints. The fact remains that in the lot, there may be an app here or there that it will be practical to use as well, more than going on its web equivalent.

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