Apple now blocking new installs of sideloaded iOS apps on M1 Macs

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2021
Apple has enabled server-side protections against sideloading iPhone and iPad apps onto M1-based Macs, though previously installed apps will continue to function.

M1-based Macs can no longer run sideloaded iOS apps
M1-based Macs can no longer run sideloaded iOS apps


Developers can choose to prevent their iOS or iPadOS apps from being available on the Mac App Store. Until now, users have been getting around this restriction by downloading and installing legitimate IPA files on the Apple Silicon-based Macs.

Apps like Netflix and Instagram are not available in the Mac App Store, so users are not able to use them on the M1 Macs. The change does not affect apps that have already been downloaded or installed but will prevent any future apps from being installed.

The server-side change will prevent new apps from being sideloaded thus erasing any possibility of a legitimate app installation. 9to5Mac says it affects the APIs surrounding Digital Rights Management protections on App Store software.

The version of macOS will not affect this change. The beta version of macOS Big Sur shows a more detailed error message when users attempt sideloading, but that is the only difference. Older versions will also not be able to sideload due to the server-side change.

Apps downloaded from the Mac App Store will not be affected and will continue to function. If users want a third-party app to be made available for the M1 platform, they will have to contact the developers and request an official release.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    byronlbyronl Posts: 230member
    can they let us live 
    alphafoxnapoleon_phoneapart
  • Reply 2 of 46
    Really Apple. When you buy a laptop you should be able to load whatever you want on it. 
    napoleon_phoneapart
  • Reply 3 of 46

    Wish I never bought M1 Mac mini now... this was pretty much one of the highlights of buying a M1 chipped Mac. So far a Mac that crashes and needing reboots most of the time and the lack of a Mini Optical port in the headphone jack vs my previous Mac mini 2011 or iMac 2012 which I used it on with my AV Receiver (Using HDMI with video has lots of drawbacks when I want direct connectivity to Monitor). Talk about going backwards and slapping the customer in the face one after the other, whats next Apple? - I know not all iOS apps aren't officially support however when announcing the benefits of this Arm Processor sold me on installing iOS app the only apps that should be disabled for transfer is ones that could lead to piracy such as streaming apps like Netflix etc.

    elijahg
  • Reply 4 of 46
    alphafox said:
    Really Apple. When you buy a laptop you should be able to load whatever you want on it. 
    As a developer, I don’t want people to install my product on devices for which I did not license it to. Those apps were developed and licensed by developers for use on specific platforms. This is a valid scenario which Apple is right in blocking it. If you want something just get the right product for the device.
    gregoriusmmac_dogkingofsomewherehotpoisednoisekudumjtomlinkillroyxyzzy-xxxMacProrundhvid
  • Reply 5 of 46
    Fred257Fred257 Posts: 164member
    No reason for me to buy a new Mac now.  Apple you’re stupid doing this!  Keeping my 2013 MBP then!
    alphafox
  • Reply 6 of 46
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 760editor
    avs_htx said:
    alphafox said:
    Really Apple. When you buy a laptop you should be able to load whatever you want on it. 
    As a developer, I don’t want people to install my product on devices for which I did not license it to. Those apps were developed and licensed by developers for use on specific platforms. This is a valid scenario which Apple is right in blocking it. If you want something just get the right product for the device.
    Interestingly, Cory Doctorow has this piece he wrote about the act of "copying" and how that's what a computer does. This prevention of loading on the Mac is a violation of sorts. It goes back to Apple's question around the iPad, "what is a computer?" - evidently, not a Mac, anymore.

    As a developer, your greatest problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity. Only when you solve obscurity, do you even have to worry about piracy. And preventing people from side loading "your" (their, if they paid you something for it) - app on their computer contributes to your obscurity. Good going.
    elijahgMplsPgatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 46
    M68000M68000 Posts: 442member
    This seems like a lot going on lately with the new chip and the new Big Sur OS...  I will have to research further what all this “side loading” lingo is.  But clearly,  I’m a bit concerned end users are losing some freedoms on what they can install after reading this.  maybe I’m wrong and somebody can speak clearly on the issue as I find the article may be important but could be hard to understand, especially for casual Mac users who don’t care how it works, but just that it works.   Still running Catalina that works great and starting to have second thoughts on upgrading,  although I don’t have M chip Mac.
    edited January 2021 paraeekerkillroy
  • Reply 8 of 46
    The ability to load iPhone, iPad iOS apps was one reason to buy an M1. I had assumed Apple would have permission to do that. 

    But, I can certainly understand a developer not wanting to license their software to do that. In fact, that Apple would allow any iOS app to used on an M1 without first getting permission from the developer, I would assume, would be a violation of a developer's contractual rights, and likely the contract the buyer originally "signed' when it was purchased in the first place.

    I don't think Apple offering that capability was within their rights to do so without getting permission from the developer in the first place. 
    mac_dogpoisednoisemuthuk_vanalingamkillroyxyzzy-xxxrundhvidjdb8167dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 46
    rain22rain22 Posts: 132member
    The walled garden just became the walled coffin. 
  • Reply 10 of 46
    Oh look. People now will start to slowly realise that the Mac after 11.1 (esp. the M1 one) is no longer a general purpose computer. It only computes what Apple wants it to compute.
    edited January 2021 elijahgalphafox
  • Reply 11 of 46
    If an M1 Mac can’t run iPad apps, but an iPad can run iPhone apps, that’s Apple being capricious. 

    Arbitrary rules disenfranchise the paying customer. 

    Inadvisable, IMO.

    elijahgalphafox
  • Reply 12 of 46
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    alphafox said:
    Really Apple. When you buy a laptop you should be able to load whatever you want on it. 
    Er … not if the app’s developer doesn’t want you to.  

    Now if  someone who has never read a software license agreement would jump in and say something dumb like “I bought the software; I can run it where I like” then we can wrap this up and all get an early night. 
    muthuk_vanalingamyoyo2222killroyxyzzy-xxxjdb8167watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 46
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,041member
    avs_htx said:
    alphafox said:
    Really Apple. When you buy a laptop you should be able to load whatever you want on it. 
    As a developer, I don’t want people to install my product on devices for which I did not license it to. Those apps were developed and licensed by developers for use on specific platforms. This is a valid scenario which Apple is right in blocking it. If you want something just get the right product for the device.
    Do you really want history to remember you as it does those companies back in the mid-1980's who put all manner of harsh copy-protection on their floppy disks to prevent that which they too did not like?  That was so universally hated that many companies eventually stopped doing it.

    It's not a matter focused exclusively on your rights as a developer.  It's about enjoyment by end users.  People want to enjoy using their new tech, and side-loading apps has been a huge joy in using Apple Silicon.  Now that joy is being yanked away because they powers that be want more control (i.e., the divine order to "get the right product for your device").  The reasons for Apple and Developers having that extra control are largely irrelevant because it's the general feeling of the user that matters most.  Wishes of developers are somewhat important, but making their users happy is paramount.  Spreading the love makes the love come back to you.  No matter what the reasons and justifications, the "appearance" of this move looks bad for Apple and the developers who persuaded Apple to do it.  

    Spread the love, not the restrictions.
    elijahg
  • Reply 14 of 46
    Different thoughts on this. You can still load iOS apps on Apple Silicon Macs from the App Store. 

    What is blocked is side loading of iOS apps developers didn’t intend to be used on Macs. These apps were developed for touch access and other iOS based UI features. In order to get these apps to run on the Mac, you had to do weird steps just to get it to run. The apps were just weird to run on the Mac, had sound issues, or just plain didn’t run at all. Then to update these apps, you had to repeat the steps you did originally to get them to run. 

    It is disappointing that more developers don’t allow the apps to be available on the App Store for Macs to run them. However I can understand that developers may not want people to complain about the problems these apps do have running on the Macs. 
    ackpfftkudukillroyxyzzy-xxxrundhvidjdb8167watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 46
    Of course, you all know by now that I am not an Apple apologist. But I am not anti-Apple either! So take my point of view. Take cloud streaming. The single most promising cloud streaming effort - in my opinion - is Nvidia GeForce Now. Why? Because it allows you to play the games that you have already purchased on a Microsoft Windows PC instance in the cloud: Steam and Epic games. Or at least they did. The publishers of lots of these games refuse to allow them on GeForce Now. Despite the fact that the purchasers of these games have already bought a copy, the people who created and published the game stated that those licenses were only good for downloading them to and running them on PCs. That they didn't have a licensing model to cover cloud applications. So GeForce Now was very reluctantly forced to delist most of their catalog.

    This is the same. When these publishers put these apps on the App Store, they only licensed them for iOS and iPadOS. That is a valid, legal binding contract. Those apps can't be put on tvOS, watchOS or macOS without the publishers agreeing to license them. Why wouldn't they? Who knows. But ultimately the apps are owned by the publishers. So long as they meet Apple's terms of service, they have the unilateral right to decide which platforms their apps appear on, and even to pull them from the App Store entirely. Apple's hands are completely tied here. There is literally nothing they can do legally. If they allow or do not act to prevent license violations, these app developers can and will sue them and will absolutely win because Apple will not have a valid defense. At all.

    Remember: iOS is not Android. It is Android that has always sold itself as an open ecosystem and app developers who embrace Android do so fully knowing that their licenses aren't going to be honored: people are going to obtain their apps and install them on whatever devices they want, often without paying. It is for this reason that lots of developers avoid Android like the plague. They chose Apple instead because Apple promised them a secure ecosystem that would act to protect their investment as developers by enforcing their licenses and not allowing their apps to run anywhere that they aren't authorized. 

    I repeat: this is a good thing. A very good thing. Security, privacy and control: the very reason why developers choose Apple over Android and Windows and why users choose Apple over Android and Windows in the first place. Well, users other than me. I prefer maximum control, which is why I prefer Linux and Android. And developers other than me. If I ever get back in the software development game again - it has been awhile and things have, er, changed lol - I will choose Android because I would want my apps to be distributed as widely as possible and, and there is the "freemium/free with ads" models to monetize those who sideload.

    But I want people who have different wants - indeed different business needs than my own - to have a choice. Apple offers them a choice. Good grief, think about work environments that require security clearances. Would you even want a computer with the ability to install unauthorized apps on them in the first place? Of course not. That is why if I had a business or contract with those constraints, everyone would be required to use iPhones, iPads and Macs and they would all have the strictest MDMs to lock them down as possible. Despite my personal preference for Linux, Android and ChromeOS, business needs are business needs. OK?

    As for you folks who said "why did I buy an M1 Mac in the first place if it can't run mobile apps!" ... I am sorry but buying a PC to run mobile apps makes absolutely no sense at all. They are not what PCs are for. I bought my first two ChromeOS devices long before Google added Android and Linux app capability to them and was perfectly fine with both. Your M1 Mac is just the same as your Intel Mac was, except a good bit faster.

    Also, can you wait a bit PLEASE? The M1 Mac platform isn't even 3 months old yet. Give more developers time to update their licensing terms. It will be less than a year. Even better: wait 2-3 years when developers embrace writing apps with iOS, iPadOS and macOS versions! Lots of them are going to do it but it is just going to take time. They can't do it right now because they don't have M1 Macs suitable for this development work yet. Don't roll your eyes: the only M1 Macs released have been entry level devices: Mac Minis, MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros with 16 GB of RAM and rudimentary GPUs. Wait until the 32 and 64 GB RAM workhorse machines with GPUs capable of taking on the best of Nvidia and AMD become available so the developers of your favorite iPad apps will actually be able to tweak their existing apps and make new ones. These M1 Macs that you bought today will still be good in 2023, right? And you didn't just throw your previous perfectly functional Intel Mac in the trash when you bought your M1 model did you? (If you did, that's on you.) 

    I can't believe that I am actually defending Apple products from Apple fans on an Apple site but here we are. But if you are going to get upset over stuff like this: well Windows and ChromeOS beckon. You can run all the Android apps you want on a Chromebook or Chromebox, and with BlueStacks and its competitors running Android apps on Windows is easy too. 
    edited January 2021 Fidonet127meterestnzMacocalypsemuthuk_vanalingamrayboackpfftGeorgeBMacGG1kudurazorpit
  • Reply 16 of 46
    I side-loaded several apps onto my iPad, including Facebook and Microsoft Authenticator.

    My gut feeling is that Apple doesn’t care about these installs - they are legitimate purchases linked to Apple ID’s to function properly.  But just like every other Internet connected app developers were probably getting logs that said traffic was coming from Macs on these apps and they complained to Apple. Probably crash reports too because some of these sideloaded apps could be unstable (as I experienced).

    Developers have Apple in the cross hairs these days and if they sneeze the wrong way, they reply with “anti-trust”. So I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to Apple on this one and chalking it up to developer demands that this functionality be disabled.
    bageljoeykillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 46
    gc_ukgc_uk Posts: 110member
    Apple introducing M1 Macs - “Mac users have immediate access to an entire library of iOS apps”

    Also Apple - “no install, only look”
    elijahgalphafox
  • Reply 18 of 46
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 325member
    paraeeker said:
    If an M1 Mac can’t run iPad apps, but an iPad can run iPhone apps, that’s Apple being capricious. 

    Arbitrary rules disenfranchise the paying customer. 

    Inadvisable, IMO.

    Not all iPhone apps can be run on an iPad without sideloading.  E.g. try installing Whatsapp on an iPad, downloaded from the App Store.
    killroy
  • Reply 19 of 46
    jamess109 said:

    Wish I never bought M1 Mac mini now... this was pretty much one of the highlights of buying a M1 chipped Mac. So far a Mac that crashes and needing reboots most of the time and the lack of a Mini Optical port in the headphone jack vs my previous Mac mini 2011 or iMac 2012 which I used it on with my AV Receiver (Using HDMI with video has lots of drawbacks when I want direct connectivity to Monitor). Talk about going backwards and slapping the customer in the face one after the other, whats next Apple? - I know not all iOS apps aren't officially support however when announcing the benefits of this Arm Processor sold me on installing iOS app the only apps that should be disabled for transfer is ones that could lead to piracy such as streaming apps like Netflix etc.

    My M1 Mac mini & MacBook Air have neither EVER crashed or needed rebooting, despite being worked harder than any Intel base Mac.

    Regarding the lack of optical audio out - perhaps you should have done better homework/research before buying the new Mac mini...

    Whether an iOS/iPad app is available for a Mac is up to the developer - their app & their code.  Don't blame Apple for this.
    bageljoeyrayboyoyo2222killroyMacProjdb8167watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 46

    Oh look. People now will start to slowly realise that the Mac after 11.1 (esp. the M1 one) is no longer a general purpose computer. It only computes what Apple wants it to compute.
    Says who?  Why are you here again?  Take your drama elsewhere.
    yoyo2222roundaboutnowkillroyxyzzy-xxxMacProjdb8167dewmewatto_cobra
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