So we can install Netflix, Instagram or Plex apps on our Mac with M1

With the arrival of the Mac with Apple Silicon Apple announced that we could run the iOS and iPadOS apps directly on our Mac. Most developers are more than happy to cover more market and offer their services to more people, but some, like Facebook or Netflix have decided to prevent this execution. Or, at least, it seemed that way, because it turns out that we can install those apps anyway.

The magic of IPAs

When we download an app on our iPhone or iPad, what we do is download a file with an IPA extension. These same files can run without any complications on Mac with Apple Silicon. The only issue is that we need this file from the app we want to run.

We need the IPA file of an app that we have bought and that is linked to our Apple ID. This means that we must have purchased the application ourselves and the only way to do it is in the App Store, so how do we download that file? Easy, from the backup of our iPhone, for example.

Run apps yes, but only apps that we have officially purchased.

The iMazing app allows us to directly download the IPA files from our iPhone or iPad. The steps proposed by the Reddit user probablyamy in this thread are the following:

  • We connect our iPhone or iPad to the Mac and run iMazing.
  • We choose Apps of the connected iPhone or iPad.
  • We played on Manage apps on the bottom.
  • We played on Bookstore.
  • We download the apps that we want to run on our Mac.
  • We secondary click on the download and choose Export IPA.
  • Once we have the IPA downloaded we simply double-click it to install it and move to the folder Applications of our Mac like any application. From here we can open it and use it like any app.

    This system works in apps like Netflix, Instagram and many others. WhatsApp, on the other hand, has specific requirements and it doesn’t even open. Let’s bear in mind that with this system, even if it works, we are bypassing the restriction of developers to run their apps on the Mac. Some of these restrictions are aimed at preventing us from running apps that don’t work properly on the Mac. Netflix, for example, does not allow us to enter full screen. Instagram or Plex, meanwhile, work excellently.

    Apple reduces the App Store commission to 15% for SMEs that bill less than 1 million dollars

    Let’s also bear in mind that this is not the system that should be used to run apps on our Mac. So much so that it is likely to stop working in future updates. In general, although we now have this trick to install apps, we will have to wait for the developers to allow us to use them officially. Of course, after seeing how well some apps work without even modifications, it will be more difficult than ever to excuse that they are not already present in the Mac App Store.