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Apple reminds developers about iOS apps on Mac App Store and potential compatibility issues [U]

As Apple has already confirmed and we have detailed here, the new Macs with the M1 chip will run iOS apps natively. And to push this feature forward, Apple will add nearly all iOS apps to the Mac App Store. However, there are some apps that will not be available to Mac users — either by developer choice or compatibility issues.

Apple is once again sending emails to iOS developers in order to remind them about this important change that will bring their iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac. By default, every iOS app will be published automatically on the Mac App Store, so the developer must manually choose not to offer their iOS apps on macOS.

We found out that major developers like Google and Facebook won’t include their apps on the Mac App Store, but the popular game Among Us and the HBO Max app will be there.

Apple asks developers to make sure their iOS apps are fully compatible with macOS and do not require any features that are available exclusively on the iPhone and iPad, such as a cellular connection and the TrueDepth camera. If the app is not compatible, then the developer must opt out of the Mac App Store.

To make sure that Mac users have a great experience, confirm that your apps work well on this platform and don’t rely on iPhone or iPad features not available on Mac. If needed, update their availability on Mac in App Store Connect.

However, Apple is also automatically pulling out some incompatible apps from the Mac App Store. Developers who have iOS apps using the Core Location API, which basically provides access to the user’s location, will not be included in the Mac App Store as the company says they may not work properly on macOS.

For these apps, the company says they “may have issues running on Apple Silicon Mac,” suggesting that the developer should test the apps on a Mac with the M1 chip before offering them on the Mac App Store. At the same time, the Mac App Store will alert users that the app was “Designed for iPad” and “Not checked for macOS” when it’s an iOS app.

Some apps available on Mac may not function as they normally would on iPhone or iPad. For example, features that rely on hardware unique to iPhone or iPad—such as a gyroscope or a screen that supports complex Multi-Touch gestures—may not work on Mac. In some cases, such a feature may be central to the app’s functionality, while in others the app may be usable without it.

Once the developer verifies that the app works fully on the macOS, the “not verified” message can be removed from the App Store. Apple says developers can make small adjustments to make their iOS apps work better on macOS.

Update (Dec. 2nd 2020): Apple is now making it easy for developers to confirm that their iOS apps work perfectly on Apple Silicon Macs. There’s a new “Check Compatibility” button on the App Store Connect that lets developers tell Apple that the app works as expected on macOS, which makes the “not verified for Mac” warning disappear.

The iOS apps will be available on Mac App Store starting this Thursday, November 12, when Apple will release macOS Big Sur to the public. These apps, of course, will be exclusive for Apple Silicon Macs. Intel-based Macs can only run Catalyst apps that have been manually ported from iOS to macOS by developers.

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Avatar for Filipe Espósito Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.