The Mac App Store is about to balloon in size. The Apple M1 processor allows the latest Macs to run iOS and iPadOS software as easily as macOS apps. So the entire contents of the iPhone App Store will soon be listed in the Mac software store.
Apple gave developers the heads-up Wednesday. “As announced at WWDC20, we’re excited to bring iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac App Store on Apple Silicon Macs — so your apps can reach even more users worldwide,” the Mac-maker said. “By default, your apps will be published automatically on the Mac App Store.”
Apple did give third-party developers the ability to opt out. They can take their software off the Mac Store with the App Store Connect tool if their apps rely on iPhone or iPad features not available from macOS computers. That can be gyroscopes, accelerometers or depth-sensing cameras. Or Apple’s ARKit augmented-reality tool.
But Apple is leaving it up to the developers to decide if their iOS or iPadOS creation will be available to Mac users.
Bringing iPhone applications to Macs with M1
Apple is in the process of switching Macs from Intel chips to Apple Silicon. The just-announced MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini use the M1 processor, the same type of chip used by iPhone and iPad. And macOS Big Sur allows these M1-based computers to run mobile apps. That’s every iOS game, all social networking apps, video-streaming software and more.
As noted, the developers of the applications don’t have to do anything. “There is no porting process — the same frameworks that your apps use on iPhone and iPad are available and tuned just for the Mac, taking advantage of the same shared architecture across all three platforms,” promised Apple.
However, users of Macs running Intel processors won‘t be able to run iOS or iPadOS software, even with macOS Big Sur installed.
Apple did not say when the handset and tablet applications will make the jump into the Mac App Store, other than it’ll happen “soon.” The change might happen with the release of macOS Big Sur, scheduled for Thursday, November 12. If not then, the first M1-powered Macs will start reaching customers’ hands on November 17.