Apple Is Reportedly Cracking Down on App Sideloading on M1 Macs

Apple Is Reportedly Cracking Down on App Sideloading on M1 Macs
Photo: Joanna Nelius/Gizmodo

Well, that was fun while it lasted.

Earlier this week, 9to5Mac spotted some iOS and macOS beta code that suggested Apple would prevent users from being able to sideload unsupported apps onto the new M1 Macs. Today, 9to5Mac reported that it’s now no longer possible to sideload apps that aren’t available in the Mac App Store even if they’re available on iOS.

You can run iOS and iPadOS apps on your M1 Mac, but only if a developer supports it. Per the report, users had been sideloading apps with tools like iMazing from their iPhones or iPad and could use them on their Apple Silicon computers whether or not they were technically supported. Now, when attempting to sideload an app not available in the Mac App Store on an M1 Mac running the macOS 11.2 beta, users will see an error message that the application “cannot be installed because the developer did not intend for it to run on this platform,” according to a screengrab from 9to5Mac.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment about the change.

So what’s bugging developers that they don’t want their apps running on Macs? Well, any number of reasons, not the least of which is the way the app was meant to perform. If it was designed as a mobile experience, it may not work as intended on a Mac.

And while it seemed folks were able to figure out a short-term workaround, it was probably only a matter of time before Apple ruined the fun, as Apple’s always been a stickler about sideloading. You can do it on iOS, but that requires jailbreaking your phone, which comes with its own risks. It’s far easier to pull off on Android, though.

The good news, according to 9to5Mac, is that previously sideloaded software continued to run.