Sideloading iPad & iPhone apps is back on Apple Silicon Macs, but probably not for long

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2021
Owners of M1-equipped Macs are once again able to sideload iPhone and iPad apps, with Apple lifting server-side blocks preventing such activity for reasons unknown.




On Friday, Apple enabled server-side protections that stopped users from sideloading iOSand iPadOS apps, a process that allowed users to put apps they bought on their mobile devices onto the Apple Silicon Macs. By adding the blocks, this prevented users from getting around restrictions that developers can use to prevent the iPhone and iPad versions of apps from being offered in the Mac App Store.

Apps that developers allow to run on macOS as well as the mobile operating systems are not affected by the changes at all. The back-and-forth service-side change only applies to IPA files extracted from an iPhone or iPad that a user owns, that are then executed on the Mac.

Users soon discovered the server-side change was lifted again on Tuesday, with users able to sideload apps once more. This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions.

The change was spotted by 9to5Mac, on Tuesday morning. AppleInsider has separately confirmed that the procedure works again -- but we don't expect it to stay active for long.

When the server-side change occurred the first time, it was found that users were prevented from any further new app installations, but doesn't affect apps that have already been downloaded or installed. For users, this is a brief opportunity to install iOS and iPadOS versions of apps that are not currently available in the Mac App Store on their Mac.

So far, sideloaded apps continue to function normally. It isn't clear if they will remain so after either the server-side blocks are reinstated, or Apple updates macOS again.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,019member
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,127member
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  


    Developers can choose whether to allow iOS apps on a Mac. If the developer did not intend an iOS app to be used on a Mac, then there's probably a good reason. And if Apple permitted sideloading then the developer's ability to choose is meaningless. 


    mwhitejdb8167watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,771member
    Good, Apple never asked if iPhone apps could run on iPad OS and thats apparently fine, but on Macs is not for some reason. Once someone has paid for a license for that software, it's really up to them what they do with it and what they run it on for personal use. Apple seemingly can't help themselves but allow similar control over iOS to permeate into the Mac. Fine it helps security, but power users don't need the security, and so need to be able to turn these security features off.
    edited January 2021 sdw2001
  • Reply 4 of 18
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,771member

    sdw2001 said:
    Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    Let's hope Apple's not testing the waters with regards to iOS levels of restrictions. But with their current trajectory I wouldn't put it past them. That's what's weird about this, these aren't stolen apps, they're legitimately purchased.
    sdw2001
  • Reply 5 of 18
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 
    Fidonet127mwhitejdb8167watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,771member
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 
    Nor did the app developer give Apple or the user license to run iPhone apps on iPad at its introduction. And yet iPhone apps run on iPad.
    sdw2001
  • Reply 7 of 18
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,737member
    elijahg said:
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 
    Nor did the app developer give Apple or the user license to run iPhone apps on iPad at its introduction. And yet iPhone apps run on iPad.
    And since then, Apple has added the ability for developers to specify which devices their apps are delivered for.

    Being technical people, we understand that if we extract an app from one device and make it work on an unsupported device, and we encounter problems, we can't going to go crying to the developer/tech support about it.  However, the vast majority of people don't understand this.  Especially if some opportunistic developer makes the process of extracting the app and installing it on your Mac easy to do for those people.
    edited January 2021 Fidonet127mwhitejdb8167anonconformistwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,771member
    auxio said:
    elijahg said:
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 
    Nor did the app developer give Apple or the user license to run iPhone apps on iPad at its introduction. And yet iPhone apps run on iPad.
    And since then, Apple has added the ability for developers to specify which devices their apps are delivered for.

    Being technical people, we understand that if we extract an app from one device and make it work on an unsupported device, and we encounter problems, we can't going to go crying to the developer/tech support about it.  However, the vast majority of people don't understand this.  Especially if some opportunistic developer makes the process of extracting the app and installing it on your Mac easy to do for those people.
    Not really, they only disallow installations based on the features of a device, not the type of a device, but that's nothing to do with the user agreement and is only really to stop a phone-related device being installed to an iPad for example. If Apple added cellular support to the iPad, all those previously not available apps would suddenly be available on iPad. This is not meant to be used as a way to restrict installs per the developer's wishes, it's to stop people installing apps where they clearly won't work because of missing hardware features. It's also not possible to change the restrictions after the first upload of the app.

    Someone who has sideloaded an app isn't going to go crying to the dev when it doesn't work. They're quite aware what they did was a hack.
    edited January 2021
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,869administrator
    elijahg said:
    auxio said:
    elijahg said:
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 
    Nor did the app developer give Apple or the user license to run iPhone apps on iPad at its introduction. And yet iPhone apps run on iPad.
    And since then, Apple has added the ability for developers to specify which devices their apps are delivered for.

    Being technical people, we understand that if we extract an app from one device and make it work on an unsupported device, and we encounter problems, we can't going to go crying to the developer/tech support about it.  However, the vast majority of people don't understand this.  Especially if some opportunistic developer makes the process of extracting the app and installing it on your Mac easy to do for those people.
    Not really, they only disallow installations based on the features of a device, not the type of a device, but that's nothing to do with the user agreement and is only really to stop a phone-related device being installed to an iPad for example. If Apple added cellular support to the iPad, all those previously not available apps would suddenly be available on iPad. This is not meant to be used as a way to restrict installs per the developer's wishes, it's to stop people installing apps where they clearly won't work because of missing hardware features. It's also not possible to change the restrictions after the first upload of the app.

    Someone who has sideloaded an app isn't going to go crying to the dev when it doesn't work. They're quite aware what they did was a hack.
    The bolded has absolutely NOT been the case with the developers that we've spoken to.

    They've made the choice to disallow their software on macOS for a reason, generally related to something not working right. That's not stopping the support requests.
    Fidonet127jdb8167muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,771member
    elijahg said:
    auxio said:
    elijahg said:
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 
    Nor did the app developer give Apple or the user license to run iPhone apps on iPad at its introduction. And yet iPhone apps run on iPad.
    And since then, Apple has added the ability for developers to specify which devices their apps are delivered for.

    Being technical people, we understand that if we extract an app from one device and make it work on an unsupported device, and we encounter problems, we can't going to go crying to the developer/tech support about it.  However, the vast majority of people don't understand this.  Especially if some opportunistic developer makes the process of extracting the app and installing it on your Mac easy to do for those people.
    Not really, they only disallow installations based on the features of a device, not the type of a device, but that's nothing to do with the user agreement and is only really to stop a phone-related device being installed to an iPad for example. If Apple added cellular support to the iPad, all those previously not available apps would suddenly be available on iPad. This is not meant to be used as a way to restrict installs per the developer's wishes, it's to stop people installing apps where they clearly won't work because of missing hardware features. It's also not possible to change the restrictions after the first upload of the app.

    Someone who has sideloaded an app isn't going to go crying to the dev when it doesn't work. They're quite aware what they did was a hack.
    The bolded has absolutely NOT been the case with the developers that we've spoken to.
    Seems some people are more stupid then than I imagined...
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 18
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,737member
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    auxio said:
    elijahg said:
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 
    Nor did the app developer give Apple or the user license to run iPhone apps on iPad at its introduction. And yet iPhone apps run on iPad.
    And since then, Apple has added the ability for developers to specify which devices their apps are delivered for.

    Being technical people, we understand that if we extract an app from one device and make it work on an unsupported device, and we encounter problems, we can't going to go crying to the developer/tech support about it.  However, the vast majority of people don't understand this.  Especially if some opportunistic developer makes the process of extracting the app and installing it on your Mac easy to do for those people.
    Not really, they only disallow installations based on the features of a device, not the type of a device, but that's nothing to do with the user agreement and is only really to stop a phone-related device being installed to an iPad for example. If Apple added cellular support to the iPad, all those previously not available apps would suddenly be available on iPad. This is not meant to be used as a way to restrict installs per the developer's wishes, it's to stop people installing apps where they clearly won't work because of missing hardware features. It's also not possible to change the restrictions after the first upload of the app.

    Someone who has sideloaded an app isn't going to go crying to the dev when it doesn't work. They're quite aware what they did was a hack.
    The bolded has absolutely NOT been the case with the developers that we've spoken to.
    Seems some people are more stupid then than I imagined...
    It's not about being stupid, it's about not understanding the technical details of how things work.  We don't all have the same minds.  People who are highly technical tend to not be highly developed in understanding that.
    jdb8167
  • Reply 12 of 18
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,019member
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 

    My first reaction to that is.....who cares what the developers want in this case?  If an app will run on my Mac and I want to do so, who are they to restrict me.  What is Apple's interest in it?  
    elijahg
  • Reply 13 of 18
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 626member
    sdw2001 said:
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 

    My first reaction to that is.....who cares what the developers want in this case?  If an app will run on my Mac and I want to do so, who are they to restrict me.  What is Apple's interest in it?  
    Apple has contracts with iOS and iPadOS developers. They are definitely an interested party.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 18
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,369member
    elijahg said:

    Someone who has sideloaded an app isn't going to go crying to the dev when it doesn't work. They're quite aware what they did was a hack.
    The bolded has absolutely NOT been the case with the developers that we've spoken to.

    They've made the choice to disallow their software on macOS for a reason, generally related to something not working right. That's not stopping the support requests.

    That talk is merely a defense of what Apple did.  

    I for one am glad side-loading is back even though I don't own an M1 and even though it may be temporary.  It's early days with the M1.  Let the M1 people have fun with the thing, for crying out loud.  

    Developers can just fire off a copy/pasted email reply to the nuts asking for support by saying, "Sorry, Charlie. No support."  

    All the developer talk about rights, authority and defensive reasoning amounts to little more than party pooper talk.  Take a few deep breaths and then let the M1 people have some enjoyment while it lasts.  For goodness sake, with all the fun being quenched over the last year due to the pandemic, people need a little enjoyment right now.
    elijahg
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,869administrator
    jdw said:
    elijahg said:

    Someone who has sideloaded an app isn't going to go crying to the dev when it doesn't work. They're quite aware what they did was a hack.
    The bolded has absolutely NOT been the case with the developers that we've spoken to.

    They've made the choice to disallow their software on macOS for a reason, generally related to something not working right. That's not stopping the support requests.

    That talk is merely a defense of what Apple did.  

    I for one am glad side-loading is back even though I don't own an M1 and even though it may be temporary.  It's early days with the M1.  Let the M1 people have fun with the thing, for crying out loud.  

    Developers can just fire off a copy/pasted email reply to the nuts asking for support by saying, "Sorry, Charlie. No support."  

    All the developer talk about rights, authority and defensive reasoning amounts to little more than party pooper talk.  Take a few deep breaths and then let the M1 people have some enjoyment while it lasts.  For goodness sake, with all the fun being quenched over the last year due to the pandemic, people need a little enjoyment right now.
    I'm not sure why you're getting crabby at me about it. I'm just relaying what is overwhelmingly the sentiment of the developers who we've asked about it.

    I prefer the iOS Discord to the Intel one running under Rosetta.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 18
    The bolded has absolutely NOT been the case with the developers that we've spoken to.

    They've made the choice to disallow their software on macOS for a reason, generally related to something not working right. That's not stopping the support requests.
    I suspect there's more to it than just that. I've separately purchased OmniFocus for iOS and for MacOS. They've got feature parity, but the interface is somewhat different. Imagine, however, if I could sideload the iPadOS version onto my M1 Mac. Maybe I'm just not that bothered by the interface differences and just want to save money.

    Now OmniGroup has lost revenue on selling both licenses.

    I suspect the loss of revenue has at least as much to do with why a developer would not want their iPadOS/iOS app running on MacOS.
    tobianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,019member
    jdb8167 said:
    sdw2001 said:
    larryjw said:
    sdw2001 said:
    This may only be a temporary state, as there is some incentive on Apple's side to reinstate the blocks and to force users to download Mac App Store-sanctioned versions instead of the mobile-designed editions. 


    Such as?  And I don't know....I find Apple's approach unsettling here.  If you have a machine capable of running mobile apps, and those apps are already approved for the mobile device (they are), why the need to control their distribution through the Mac App store?  Could there be some legitimate security or technical/performance concerns?  Or, is what I think it is...Apple demanding total authority to decide what runs on Macs?  Even that doesn't make much sense, as users can install Mac software outside the App store constraints.  The only legitimate reason I can think of is Apple is concerned about jailbroken phones (difficult to do these days, I hear) side-loading apps.  

    I can think of one overriding reason not to allow iPhone and iPad apps to run on Silicon Macs -- the app developer did not give Apple and the user the license to do so. Period. 

    My first reaction to that is.....who cares what the developers want in this case?  If an app will run on my Mac and I want to do so, who are they to restrict me.  What is Apple's interest in it?  
    Apple has contracts with iOS and iPadOS developers. They are definitely an interested party.
    A reasonable answer, though I have to doubt the contracts state Apple is required to prevent apps from running on Macs.  Though I suppose it’s possible....the only thing I can see driving it is developers who make apps for both and charge for each.  So it’s about money like everything else.  
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Apple allows us to run iOS apps on M1 Mac, why do they disable them again? For me, I still want to be able to run my ios apps on my Mac.
    But how do you export the ipa to your mac?
    edited February 2021
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