Apple is going to allow users to run iOS apps on Mac thanks to its new M1 chip and macOS Big Sur. Developers will be able to publish their iPhone and iPad apps on the Mac App Store, without any modifications, but they will also be able to enhance them with support for keyboard and mouse, as well as windows to feel native to the Mac.
iOS apps on Mac via M1 chip and macOS Big Sur
Most iOS apps will work just fine without any changes, as long as they have been properly utilizing Apple’s frameworks. Features like iPad multitasking support and Auto Layout will allow existing iPad apps to support resizable windows on Mac, while any multi-touch gestures will be mapped to trackpad gestures automatically. However, developers can go further and optimize further to allow for better user experiences for iOS apps on Mac:
There are features available to iPhone and iPad apps that make it easier for them to run on Mac and improve the overall user experience when run on any of these platforms. For example, adding keyboard support not only enables the primary interface for the Mac, it also supports the growing number of users who use keyboards with their iPads. Supporting iPad Multitasking and Auto Layout lets your app support resizable windows on iPad and Mac. If your app supports standard gesture recognizers for pinch, scroll, rotate, and zoom effects, they will automatically map to appropriate gestures on Mac input devices. Adding support for drag and drop enables a common use pattern on the Mac and makes your iPad app even more versatile. Apps that deal with files can handle files correctly on every platform using the latest Bundle and FileManager APIs.
Users will be able to find these apps in the Mac App Store with the following badges: “Designed for iPhone” and “Designed for iPad. If the app is not fully functional on Mac, a message will show in the App Store listing which will say that the app is “not verified for macOS”. Developers will also be given the option to make their iOS apps unavailable for the Mac, for either technical or business reasons.
We are already aware that there are many popular developers who might not support their iOS apps on Mac right out of the gate. This list includes apps such as YouTube, WhatsApp, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and more. As we said above, the reason for these apps to not be available on Mac might be due to business decisions and not just technical limitations.
Which iOS app on Mac are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!