How To : The easiest way to install iOS apps on your new M1 MacBook!

ARTICLE – I recently replaced my refurbed 12in MacBook with a shiny new 13 inch MacBook Pro with Apple’s new M1 processor. One of the features of the M1 that I was excited to try is the ability to run iOS apps on a MacBook. Yes, it’s possible and yes, it’s awesome… some iOS apps work better than others on your MacBook, but I’ll get to that in a minute AFTER I show you how to install iOS apps on your M1 MacBook.

How do you install an iOS app on an M1 MacBook? One way is to load up the stock Apple app store app on your MacBook. Click on your picture in the bottom left corner and then click the iPhone and iPad tab in the center. This will show billions of iOS apps that you installed on iOS devices over the years. Yikes.

It’s easy enough to use though. Just click an app to download and install it on your machine.

Wheeeeee, let’s play a game!

But the BIG problem is that it doesn’t show ALL your apps. I wanted to install Instagram on my MBP but that app wasn’t on my Apple app store list. There were other Instagram accessory apps, but not the main Instagram app. What the heck? So I googled how to install iOS apps on an M1 MacBook and was told to download an app called iMazing which costs $49.99. Ummmmm, no thanks. 🙁

But then today the clouds of despair parted for me when I found another app that will do what I want for….. FREE! It’s iMobie M1 App Checker and this app really is Amazing (see what I did there?).

Download it, install it and you can start by scanning your machine.

It will show your Mac apps and which platform it’s made to run on which is kind of cool. Note that the 2 Apple Silicon apps in the image above are iOS apps 🙂

To install an iOS app, you can click the iPhone App button on the left side and type in an app name. I used Instagram.

Yay, there it is! Click the download button to the right.

Sign in with your Apple ID and password and then click the App Library button at the top. When the download is completed, you can find the .IPA file on your desktop or downloads folder.

Copy it to your Applications folder or wherever you want to save it. Then just double click the .IPA file and presto, the app launches! I now have a fully working Instagram app on my MBP which makes it so much easier to post to my Instagram account (@gadgeteer) when I can type the description and tags with my keyboard. It’s the little things that make me happy! 

There are a few caveats to consider though… Some apps just don’t work that well (yet) on your laptop because they want a touchscreen. I have a feeling most action games won’t work well. But so far the non-game apps that I’ve tried have worked pretty well. Thanks again iMobie!

For those of you out there with a new M1 computer, are you running iOS apps on it? What has been your experience so far? Leave some comments below.

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6 thoughts on “How To : The easiest way to install iOS apps on your new M1 MacBook!”

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  2. Michael O'Donnell

    How has the experience been, moving from your 12in Macbook to this new M1 Macbook Pro? I’ve been impressed with the longevity of my 12in Macbook and still admire the light form factor (and am reminded of that benefit every time I pick up the Macbook Pro). I’m sure there are others that made a similar switch. Are you going to review the M1?

    1. Hi Michael, I was afraid I’d want to send back the MBP for weight and fan reasons but both of those worries have been unwarranted. The weight is negligible especially since I’m not traveling. I’ve yet to hear the fan come on and it’s always cool as a cucumber even when I’m editing video. I like the extra screen size, and the battery is OUTSTANDING. No, I don’t plan on reviewing the M1. But here’s my flash review: If you have an older MB, get one! The battery life is like witchcraft and it’s fast!

  3. I just tried this on my new M1 for the NYT Crossword app and when I click on the .IPA it shows a little dialog progress box and then the message
    Unable to install “Crossword”
    Please try again later.

    Needless to say, later hasn’t work in hours. 🙂
    Any idea?

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