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macOS beta code suggests Apple will block users from sideloading unsupported iOS apps on M1 Macs [U]

Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14.4 and macOS Big Sur 11.2 for developers — and although the updates have no significant changes, they come as bad news for some M1 Mac users. 9to5Mac has found that Apple may stop users from sideloading unsupported iOS apps on Apple Silicon Macs.

Based on internal code that is shared between recent iOS 14.4 beta versions and macOS Big Sur 11.2, Apple is implementing a new system that will block some iOS apps from running on the Mac. This, of course, will not affect the apps available on the Mac App Store.

Instead, this should prevent users from installing iOS apps that the developer has chosen not to offer on the Mac App Store for M1 Macs. In current versions of macOS, you can manually install iOS apps like Netflix, Instagram, and Facebook on an M1 Mac by using their respective IPA files downloaded under a valid Apple ID.

The code found by 9to5Mac is related to the APIs that manage the DRM (Digital Rights Management) protections of the operating system. We can’t confirm if this lock is already working on macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta 2, but it may also be something that Apple will enable remotely once the update is available for users.

This application cannot be installed because the developer did not intend for it to run on this platform.

Update: At least for now, macOS Big Sur 11.1 beta 2 still lets users sideload unsupported iOS apps on M1 Macs.

So far, Apple hasn’t confirmed this change for developers. Major developers have chosen not to have their iOS apps on Mac App Store, either because of sales strategy or because the apps haven’t yet been optimized to run on a computer with mouse and keyboard controls.

We’ll keep this post updated with any other changes found in macOS regarding this new restriction.

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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.