a tale of two methods

Apple MacBook Air M1 close-up of the logo

Gary Sims / Android Authority

For years, if Apple users wanted to run their favorite iOS apps on their computer, they had to do it through third-party applications, emulators, or some other unofficial method. Now, if you have an Apple Silicon Mac (the newer ones with an M1 processor) and the Big Sur iOS, you can run iPhone and iPad apps on your Mac computer.

See also: Best Apple Macbooks

What’s the benefit of using iOS apps on my Mac?

Applications on the iPhone and iPad have come a long way. Now you have the full functionality of word processors, video editors and other applications in the palm of your hand. Especially if you work on your iPad a lot, you may want to transfer data or workflows from your tablet to your computer. With this new Big Sur OS update, you can do just that.

Can my Mac run iOS apps?

As mentioned earlier, you can only run iOS apps on your Mac if your computer has an Apple Silicon chip. To check if your device is capable, do the following:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Click About This Mac.
  3. If the Chip section says Apple M1, you can run iOS apps on your computer.

How to run iOS apps on Mac

Downloading iOS apps on your Mac computer is extremely easy. If you know how the App Store works on your Mac, you have no problem at all!

  1. Open the App Store on your Mac.
  2. In the App Store, click the search box and enter the app you want to download. Note that not all iOS apps are available in the Mac Apple Store.
  3. In the search results, select the iPhone and iPad apps tab.
  4. Next to the result of the app search, click the Get button.
  5. Download it and you’ll be able to run iOS apps on a Mac!

What is an emulator and should I use one?

With the new M1 MacBooks and their silicon chips, emulators have become rather obsolete and you don’t see them mentioned as often as 10 years ago in the early 2010s. In short, an emulator is a program that “emulates” another type of device or service. For example, in the early days of the Mac, you had to download an emulator to run the Windows operating system on your Mac. Today there are more comprehensive services (one even built into the Mac itself) that allow you to do this more seamlessly.

It used to be very common to download emulators from shady third-party websites to run iOS apps, Gameboy games, and Windows programs on a Mac. In addition to finding the emulator application online, you also need to find the individual apps or programs you want to run. This made things pretty complicated and a lot of people infected their devices with viruses and general malware.

If you have an older Mac and urgently need to use an iOS app on your computer, consider using an emulator. There are plenty of resources on the internet to walk you through the process to make sure you don’t download a virus and ruin your computer. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of ​​downloading a program from an unverified third-party source, check out which Macs you need to run iOS apps without an emulator.

Looking for recommendations? Here are just a few worth checking out:

What’s the best Mac for iOS apps?

All Macs manufactured in 2020 and beyond will have an Apple silicon chip (also known as the Apple M1). If you want to run iOS apps without an emulator, we recommend purchasing one of the following models.

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