iPhone and iPad Apps Coming to Macs With Apple Silicon, Developers Can Manage Availability in App Store Connect

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Apple today shared a video with more details about the availability of iPhone and iPad apps on future Macs with custom Apple processors.


Macs with custom Apple processors will share the same Arm architecture as iPhones and iPads, meaning that they will be able to run many iOS and iPadOS apps without any modifications or recompilation. Like traditional Mac apps, these iPhone and iPad apps will be distributed through the Mac App Store, with in-app purchase options carrying over.

A notice in Apple's developer portal says that all new and existing compatible iPhone and iPad apps will be made available in the Mac App Store on Macs with Apple silicon, unless developers uncheck the "iOS App on Mac" box in App Store Connect. There is no obligation for developers to extend their iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac.


Following years of rumors, Apple confirmed its plans to switch to custom processors for Macs during its WWDC keynote this week, promising industry-leading performance per watt. Apple said it plans to ship the first Mac with its own silicon by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years.

Apple said that it will continue to support and release new versions of macOS for Intel-based Macs for years to come, and it also confirmed that it still has some new Intel-based Macs in development in the interim.

Article Link: iPhone and iPad Apps Coming to Macs With Apple Silicon, Developers Can Manage Availability in App Store Connect
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,696
4,304
Those icons in the dock are hideous. I don't think the icons should be unified between macOS and iOS, but if that must happen, use the icons from iOS, don't just take the Mac icon and throw a white rounded square behind it. That's just ugly.

Also... now that iOS apps are on macOS... what about the new iOS Widgets? Those seem kind of analogous to apps that live on the right side of the status bar...
 

Kung gu

macrumors regular
Oct 20, 2018
130
75
Not sure how much of a "mega" game changer this is. They have Android apps for Chromebook, and Android apps for Windows (BlueStacks), and apparently nobody realizes its a thing...
You can Apple has working iPad apps and the apps that are ported over are much more optimised, whereas Android is not so and have u ever seen a good working android tab.
 

Speedy2

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2008
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This really won't find much resonance. Apple themselves have rightfully stated again and again, that touch-based and pointer-based applications each need their own distinct UI.
Anything that tries to do both in one will inevitably suck. See Windows 8.
 

Ansath

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2018
455
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England
Not sure how much of a "mega" game changer this is. They have Android apps for Chromebook, and Android apps for Windows (BlueStacks), and apparently nobody realizes its a thing...
Well, Bluestacks is basically an Android emulator, this will be native, so the Windows comparison is a not really valid.

Also... now that iOS apps are on macOS... what about the new iOS Widgets? Those seem kind of analogous to apps that live on the right side of the status bar...
The widgets on MacOS 11 look the same as the iOS ones.
 
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Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
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This really won't find much resonance. Apple themselves have rightfully stated again and again, that touch-based and pointer-based applications each need their own distinct UI.
Anything that tries to do both in one will inevitably suck. See Windows 8.
Part of why windows 8 didn’t find traction was because Microsoft did it (and they certainly seem to have a fairly bad track record when it comes to execution).

I am crossing my fingers that Apple has learnt enough lessons from the competition to be able to avoid the same pitfalls.
 
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konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
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Well, Bluestacks is basically an Android emulator, this will be native, so the Windows comparison is a not really valid.
Android apps aren't "native" on Android either, they always run in a Java-like Virtual Machine.

Android apps running in Windows is as native from a UI sense as iPhone apps on a Mac. In fact, it's more "native" since both Windows and Chromebook computers can have touchscreens, but not Macs.
 

1rottenapple

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2004
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Well they are laying foundation for touch enabled macs. As evidence by large target points, and previous acknowledgement their competitors have good ideas. Such as stylus, widgets in iOS home screen, desktop quality keyboards for tablets. Essentially doing what Apple does best which is iterating a good idea, and polishing the experience in a way only Apple can do, i.e. MP3 player to iPod, crappy internet enabled phones to an iPhone. Smart watch, to Apple Watch. Wireless audio, to AirPods.
 

Ansath

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2018
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Android apps aren't "native" on Android either, they always run in a Java-like Virtual Machine.

Android apps running in Windows is as native from a UI sense as iPhone apps on a Mac. In fact, it's more "native" since both Windows and Chromebook computers can have touchscreens, but not Macs.
I wasn't commenting on Windows, as I knew how those worked.

You're making the assumption that there isn't going to be touchscreen MacBooks and maybe even Macs by the end of the 2 year transition.

ETA: Also, don't forget, that people have been using iPad Pro's with the new improved keyboard & mouse/trackpad support, and therefore using iOS apps in a similar fashion to using a Mac, and not been much of an issue.
 
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itguy06

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2006
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This really won't find much resonance. Apple themselves have rightfully stated again and again, that touch-based and pointer-based applications each need their own distinct UI.
Anything that tries to do both in one will inevitably suck. See Windows 8.
And Windows 10 works just fine with touch. Even most "legacy" apps work fine if you are careful while touching. I own 2 of 'em and would never go back to non touch.

One pressing question I've not seen answered is that for ARM Macs will the App Store be the only place to get software?
 

CrazyForCashews

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2018
644
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Not sure how much of a "mega" game changer this is. They have Android apps for Chromebook, and Android apps for Windows (BlueStacks), and apparently nobody realizes its a thing...
Wait. What the hell?

What does Android apps on Chromebook or Windows have anything even remotely related to iOS apps on Mac?

Who freaking cares about Android apps, we're talking about iOS here. This is what matters, and it is big news for people with Macs as there are amazing high quality apps on iOS that would be useful and worthwhile to have on the Mac.
 

Starrwulfe

macrumors newbie
Nov 27, 2019
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I don’t understand why some people are shooting down the ability to use iOS apps on Macs. It helps the entire ecosystem bring and keep mindshare and improves the application landscape. Think of how many developers there are that are cranking out great apps for iOS/iPadOS but have zero interest/time/knowledge to bring their app to Mac.

For example, I like using Apollo for accessing Reddit. The dev is a one-man shop and is passionate about his app— active in forums, twitter and so forth and constantly bringing improvements to it. His app is so good in fact, I have grown to abhor the traditional way of going through the web browser to get to Reddit and usually wind up reaching for my iPhone or iPad even while sitting at my Mac with a 26” screen in front of me. I would LOVE to see an Apollo for Mac but I know it won’t happen since the dev can’t find extra time to even knock out a Catalyst version right now.

The same with my favorite photo editing app (Affinity) and favorite lightweight video editing app (Lumafusion), all of which would be greatly appreciated and welcomed whenever they could run on my Mac.

One pressing question I've not seen answered is that for ARM Macs will the App Store be the only place to get software?
This is the question indeed. I would say no, and that ”sideloading” will always be a platform differentiator for MacOS along with it being able to run things in VMs and container. Otherwise you’ll have Macs become iPad Pro Ultra Extreme.

I’m still going to need command line apps like brew, ffmpeg, vim, ssh, tmux, python, and nodejs to work in my environment. But since they all work in current ARM systems like Raspberry Pi, then I would expect no worries on MacOS 11 on ARM. Mac devs use these tools too and they would need for them to work too.
 

CrazyForCashews

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2018
644
1,399
It helps the entire ecosystem bring and keep mindshare and improves the application landscape. Think of how many developers there are that are cranking out great apps for iOS/iPadOS but have zero interest/time/knowledge to bring their app to Mac.
Bingo.

The whole Apple ecosystem wins with this decision. Generally speaking, iOS apps are higher quality and more polished than the Android versions and alternatives, and being able to use iOS apps on the Mac will make not only make people want to stay in the ecosystem, but it will give a bigger audience/customers to developers that will ultimately support them in the end.

Everybody wins.
 

amartinez1660

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2014
163
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But what about folder permissions, where the data gets stored, if it comes from cloud or local, the “Share” options (iCloud, Dropbox, Files, etc companions)? They have to do nothing about it and it will automatically work?
I know nothing about developing apps the native way, but if the dev just “asks and receives” for a location where to store settings, data and files... then yes, it would still be handled by the OS it’s running on automatically.
If there are any devs around, I’m genuinely curious.
 

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
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What does Android apps on Chromebook or Windows have anything even remotely related to iOS apps on Mac?
It doesn't take a genius to realize that if the ability to run mobile apps which comprise 80% of worldwide phones on a platform that runs on 90% of computers has made absolutely zero impact, then Apple's capability isn't going to be a "mega game changer"
 

TMRJIJ

macrumors 68040
Dec 12, 2011
3,238
5,397
South Carolina, United States
But what about folder permissions, where the data gets stored, if it comes from cloud or local, the “Share” options (iCloud, Dropbox, Files, etc companions)? They have to do nothing about it and it will automatically work?
I know nothing about developing apps the native way, but if the dev just “asks and receives” for a location where to store settings, data and files... then yes, it would still be handled by the OS it’s running on automatically.
If there are any devs around, I’m genuinely curious.
The File system was mentioned in the video
- - Post merged: - -

I just hope Apple is strict on app submissions and not letting developers just check the box without actually testing the ‘full‘ user interface
 
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reyesmac

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
377
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Central Texas
If they keep this up and the iOS becomes the MacOS, how much will the user base grow for MacOS if you lump all iOS users into one group? That may be a goal. What would it be like to have the same OS running on your phone, tablet, tv, and computer? I don't think splintering their products is their aim, I think they want one code base so their entire company is focused in as few directions as possible.
 
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szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
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This really won't find much resonance. Apple themselves have rightfully stated again and again, that touch-based and pointer-based applications each need their own distinct UI.
Anything that tries to do both in one will inevitably suck. See Windows 8.
It goes mostly one way. Touch apps can usually work okay on pointer based interfaces just fine, but not vice versa. Given the great trackpads on Macs, it would be a good enough experience. I've used bluestack to test Android apps and usability was okay for the most part. But I'm guessing Apple is counting apps devs to customize the interface a little for Macs given how easy it is with the new tools and APIs.
 

rp2011

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2010
1,573
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A Mac will now be able run iphone and iPad apps. And as Mac OS 11 now has more spacing between targets, I do see a touch screen Mac that is iPad Pro-like with a Magic Keyboard as a posibility. I mean why not? Why wouldnt a designer not want the option to pick up an Apple Pencil to work in Illustrator or Photoshop?
 

smulji

macrumors 68000
Feb 21, 2011
1,508
991
I am crossing my fingers that Apple has learnt enough lessons from the competition to be able to avoid the same pitfalls.
I am cautiously optimistic. There are 1 billion Windows users and MS tried to leverage that strength into mobile by promoting UWP apps that would run across all of MS' devices and it failed to catch and destroyed any chance of MS making inroads and having success in the mobile device space. Apple is doing the same thing but coming from the other end by trying to leverage its strength in iPhone / iPad users in order to grow its Mac user base and get developers excited again to create Mac apps. There isn't any guarantee of that.

There is already concern among the Mac faithful that macOS is becoming nothing more than iPadOS on steroids; in other words, an OS that is more open than iPadOS but less open than the macOS that they grew up or are used to using.
 
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