There are, of course, some exceptions. Developers must sign up to have their apps installed on a Mac after optimizing the experience for Apple computers with the M1 processor. That means not every app will be available at this point, but the library of compatible programs will certainly expand as developers work on adopting the new technology.
If you’re using one of Apple’s M1 Macs and want to get more out of your new computer, here’s how to install iPhone or iPad apps, including a fix for apps that aren’t in the Mac App Store (this won’t work your Apple warranty and is considered safe).
Use search in the Mac App Store
There are two different ways to find iPhone and iPad apps in the Mac App Store. The first is to use the search box and enter the name of the app you want to install. However, the search results are standard Mac apps, so after entering your search terms, be sure to click iPhone and iPad apps at the top of the results.
Easy enough, right? But you will find that it is often difficult to find the apps you are looking for.
Download apps you already own
The other method allows you to install apps that you have previously downloaded on your iPhone or iPad, some of which are available even if they don’t show up in Mac search results.
Open the Mac App Store and click on your name in the lower left corner. You will then see a list of the previously downloaded or purchased Mac apps associated with your Apple ID. click on iPhone and iPad apps to switch the view to apps you have installed on your phone or tablet.
Unfortunately, there is no search function, so if you’ve downloaded a lot of apps over the years, you’ll have to scroll through the list until you find what you’re looking for. The apps are listed in chronological order, with the most recent apps at the top.
What about apps you can’t find in the App Store?
There is also a workaround here, but before we get into the details, you should know that this is not an official method and apps may not work or break in the future. If you are having problems, it is best to wait for the developer to add official support.
With that said, here’s how to install apps like Instagram on your Mac, probably thanks to Reddit user.
1. Download and install iMazing. You can use the free trial to test this method before purchasing the app.
2. Open iMazing and connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. Approve the connection if prompted and skip the backup if prompted.
3. Click your device name on the left side of the window to display a list of options.
4. Select Apps and wait for all apps installed on your device to load.
5. Click Manage apps at the bottom of the iMazing window.
6. Enter your Apple ID password when prompted.
7. Click Library at the top of the list of installed apps.
8. Go through the list and download the apps you want to install on your Mac.
9. After an app has downloaded, right-click it in the list and select Export IPA.
10. Select a location to save the IPA file when Finder prompts you and click Save. I suggest creating a folder on your desktop and save the files there. Repeat that process for every app you downloaded.
11. Finally, double-click on the IPA file and your Mac will install the app and even deliver it directly to your Applications folder.
Once that’s done, you can open and use the app like any other app on your Mac. I’ve installed a few apps using the iMazing method, and it’s a breeze. The apps themselves, Dark Sky and Instagram, have some issues, especially with presenting warnings and asking for permission, but they are usable. I was even able to post a photo to Instagram from my Mac without using the browser-based solution.
MacOS 11 Big Sur has added a lot of features to all Macs, not just the M1 computers. If you’re about to buy one of the new Macs, be sure to read CNET’s review. Or if you want to squeeze a little more life out of the Mac you currently have, be sure to read this.