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  • Apple to block sideloading iOS apps on M1

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Non-Windows operating systems » macOS » Apple to block sideloading iOS apps on M1

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    #2334239

    macOS beta code suggests Apple will block users from sideloading unsupported iOS apps on M1 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.

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    • #2334246

      I hope this does not mean that applications not in the Apple Store will be blocked not just in M1 Macs running the next update to BigSur, but also when running BigSur on Intel Macs. As stated in the excerpt of the announcement copied by Alex, whether this is so or not is not entirely clear.

      But it causes me some concern, because taken at face value, it is a restrictive move with no clear reason for it. This does not affect me directly now, as I do not use any iOS applications, but that could change later on, when I am still using my Intel Mac. Or the ban could even be extended to non-Store applications meant for Intel Macs.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2334252

      But it causes me some concern, because taken at face value, it is a restrictive move with no clear reason for it.

      It is restrictive move, and rightly so, imposed by iOS developers who haven’t ported their apps to Mac store for a reason.

      • #2335162

        It was imposed by Apple, not by developers of apps. It used to be possible to load through alternate sources, the way things have always been on real computers, and now it won’t be, for iOS apps at least. It was Apple that changed this, not the app developers.

        Personally, not being able to sideload is a deal-breaker for any platform I would ever use. I’ll decide whether I want to install something, from any source I see fit… I don’t need Apple’s or anyone else’s opinion on the matter. It’s one of a number of reasons I don’t use iOS.

        Whether or not the app is available for M1 in the App Store is another matter. Real computers aren’t bound to App Stores or other walled gardens. So is this a real computer or not?

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
        Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

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    • #2334974

      I don’t like the move at all. I’ll likely say more bout it coming up.

      Nathan Parker

    • #2334999

      Sideloading iOS Apps No Longer Possible on M1 Macs

      Apple this week implemented a server side blocking mechanism to prevent M1 Mac owners from sideloading iOS apps that have not been made available on the Mac by iOS app developers.

    • #2335000

      I don’t like the move at all. I’ll likely say more bout it coming up.

      So you prefer “hacking” developers apps who doesn’t want their apps running on Silicon ?

      • #2335175

        So you prefer “hacking” developers apps who doesn’t want their apps running on Silicon ?

        I’m fine with it, as long as Apple offers a disclaimer when installing such apps stating “your use of installing the app is unsupported by the developer”, and if the end user has issues running the app, and the developer wishes to not offer them support for any issues with it, the end user is on their own with it.

        I am not for Apple restricting the use of installing any app on a Mac. If the end user installs an unsupported app or an app in an unsupported manner, they’re on their own with it and shouldn’t be given support. But at least they have the ability and freedom to do it and have to take responsibility for their own personal actions.

        Nathan Parker

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    • #2335128

      Alex: “So you prefer “hacking” developers apps who doesn’t want their apps running on Silicon ?

      The way I understand this, it is about Apple blocking any application, including those made ready for “silicon”, that is not registered and approved by Apple first and then put in the Apple store. This never has been the case before with Apple, at least to this extent, or with any PCs’ OS I have used myself, such as Windows 98, XP, 7, macOS and Linux. There are many legitimate and useful applications, besides those approved or provided by the OS developers themselves, that many, as numerous entries here in AskWoody bear witness, have been recommending for different uses, including increased security (e.g. various commercial AVs), that have been run with satisfactory results, some for years, and that have good reviews in specialized publications.

      Nathan also does not like this and has promised to write more about this.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2335261

      “your use of installing the app is unsupported by the developer”

      ‘unsupported’ ? This is not ‘unsupported’. This is pure hacking/stealing.

    • #2335272

      Alex: The “9t05Mac”  article you gave the URL link in your first comment when starting this thread, reads in its relevant part:

      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.

      Maybe I missed it, but nothing I have been able to find in this article mentions unsupported applications, but only applications that are not available at the Mac App Store for M1 Macs. I interpret it as meaning, in other words: if it is not from Apple’s “walled garden” it is going to be blocked from being used in M1 Macs, no matter if they can physically be run on those Macs, or whether they are supported or not by their developers. So, it would seem, this is not about hackers, or hacked software, or lack of developer’s support.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2335299

      if it is not from Apple’s “walled garden” it is going to be blocked from being used in M1 Macs, no matter if they can physically be run on those Macs, or whether they are supported or not by their developers.

      if it is not approved by the developers and not uploaded to Apple’s Mac Store…no matter if they can physically be run on those Macs…

      • #2335320

        Alex: “if it is not approved by the developers and not uploaded to Apple’s Mac Store…no matter if they can physically be run on those Macs…

        It is software approved and supported by its developers, but not submitted by them to be kept in the Apple store. If I develop software that then share with others because I am confident enough that it works as intended, so I can commit myself to taking care of most problems people may run up against while using it, it is because I definitely approve of it, regardless of what Apple, or whoever else might say, or where they would like to keep it. And I do not mean this hypothetically: this is something I actually have been  doing for decades now. Mainly for performing certain kinds of data analysis and written to run under Linux, but I have also adapted some of it to run on Macs, where it also has been and is working quite well.

        Now, if I can not write code that can compile and test-run on an M1 Mac and then share the executable with others also with M1 Macs, the M1 Mac is useless to me. As it could be, I suspect, to many others. Apple has overreached here.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2335339

      Now, if I can not write code that can compile and test-run on an M1 Mac and then share the executable with others also with M1 Macs

      This has nothing to do with code compilation. It is about sideloading iOS apps, from Apple store to run on M1. These apps are the property of their developers who doesn’t want them sideloaded on M1.
      This is not the case of buying/downloading iOS .ipa apps from developers, like buying Mac software, and loading on M1.

    • #2335651

      Alex: I got it. Thanks.

      The way the article is written confused me and, apparently, also others that have commented here earlier on.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2335743

      ‘unsupported’ ? This is not ‘unsupported’. This is pure hacking/stealing.

      Not quite on “stealing”. iOS app files contain the Apple ID of the end user who purchased or downloaded them in the app, and Apple already has the ability to block launching apps that are not licensed to the Apple ID holder when apps are sideloaded on a device.

      Already the precautions are in place to prevent an end user from stealing another end user’s purchased apps.

      What Apple has blocked is the ability to run apps a user has a license to, but in an unsupported manner.

      A similar instance is when running a Windows app under WINE/CrossOver. There are some developers who do not want their apps running on WINE/CrossOver since they are Windows-only programmers and will never develop for Mac or Linux. Yet some still choose to install apps that are specifically licensed only foe Windows on WINE/CrossOver, even at the angst of the developer. The developer cannot block such an ability, but they can choose not to support such a unsupported use of the install. There’s some people I know who run Windows apps on CrossOver that are only half-baked when doing so. They simply have to live with the apps as is, find Mac or Linux replacements for them, or run the apps in a supported manner.

      Nathan Parker

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      • #2335756

        Nathan, Thanks for the explanation.

        There is a difference between the case you have given as an example, of people who run applications in Linux meant only for Windows using Wine on a Linux machine, and the present concerning M1 Macs. Apple can and does physically block Mac applications from being installed in Macs, and it looks like now will do that even when legitimately obtained by a user from its developers, because Apple has built in its OS the means to block the installation of certain apps of its choosing in its “own” Macs, a choosing that now seems to have been extended to installing iPhone apps on M1 Macs.

        The still open questions I see here, put in simple terms: Given the existing anti-theft by sideloading  measures that Nathan has mentioned, does Apple have the legal right to block those iPhone apps its own developers allow to be installed by users, but have chosen not to put in the M1 shop? And, if Apple does have that legal right, is it acceptable  for Apple to use it in this way?

        And the concern I still have, beyond the present issue, is: how far is Apple still going to go in expanding its restrictions on what can be installed in “their” machines? My own answer: we’ll have to wait and see.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2335775

      Apple does have that legal right, is it acceptable  for Apple to use it in this way?

      Yes, it does because this is the intension of iOS developers.

    • #2335890

      Update January 19, 2021: Apple has reverted this server-side change, and it is once again possible to side-load unsupported iPhone and iPad apps on an M1 Mac. We don’t expect this to last long, so if there are any iPhone or iPad apps you want on your Mac, download them sooner

    • #2335924

      Alex, I am glad to learn this and hope this is permanent, although your advice is quite sound, because who knows how long this reversal will last?

      But my concerns, as already expressed and that I still do share with Nathan and Ascaris, these concerns remain. And they do based only in what is in the article you gave a link to at the very beginning of this thread (And that is not, in the relevant part you quoted there, changed by the new 9o5Mac article, today.) That may or may not be the whole story, but it’s all one has to work with here.

      Because that article says nothing about the intentions of developers of iPhone applications concerning how they want their apps to be installed in M1 Macs; it does not say something to the effect of or example “but if the iPhone apps developers chose not to put them in the M1 App Store, but are OK with people buying the apps from them and installing these in their Macs all the same, and especially if part of the deal is that they will fully support them for x years, then that is OK by Apple too.”

      As the article is written, it is not about what the iPhone developers want or intend, but what Apple wants and intends.

      And I cannot be very comfortable, having no reason to be otherwise, with the fact that Apple has chosen to do this at all.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2335952

      “but if the iPhone apps developers chose not to put them in the M1 App Store, but are OK with people buying the apps from them and installing these in their Macs all the same, and especially if part of the deal is that they will fully support them for x years, then that is OK by Apple too.”

      As the article is written, it is not about what the iPhone developers want or intend, but what Apple wants and intends.

      From the article :

      Apple Silicon Macs allow users to run iOS and iPad applications on their Mac, but developers can opt out of allowing their apps to be installed on the Mac. This is the path that many developers have taken, making the necessary change in App Store Connect to remove their app from the Mac App Store.

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    • #2335976

      Alex, sorry, but I don’t see how that newly quoted paragraph from the 5to9MAC article changes things:

      It says the developers of iPhone apps “can opt out of having their applications installed in a Mac” by removing them from the Apple M1 Store. The discussion, so far, has been about the first paragraph quoted, that says the same developers applications cannot be installed by users in their M1 Macs if the developers have not put them first in the Apple M1 Store.

      These two paragraphs are, it seems to me, about apps not being allowed to be installed in M1 Macs if they are (1) either not put in the M1 Store by their developers, or (2) are removed from the same by their developers after they put them in, which (3) amounts to the same thing as if they never had put them in this store in the first place.

      Neither way gives the option to the developers to not put in, or to put in and then remove, their apps from that store, and still be able to sell them, and for the people who buy them and then try to install them in their M1 Macs to be able to do so. Something that has been always possible, as pointed out by Nathan, even in the (to me, at least) wild case when the applications are not supported by their developers.

      Summing up: This additional paragraph does not give me a reason to change my opinion, as far as I can see, so my concerns remain.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

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    • #2336121

      Neither way gives the option to the developers to not put in, or to put in and then remove, their apps from that store, and still be able to sell them, and for the people who buy them and then try to install them in their M1 Macs to be able to do so. Something that has been always possible, as pointed out by Nathan,

      It was never possible to sell iOS apps outside of Apple App Store. You have to JailBreak your iOS device or use a workaround, providing you get an .ipa file, using Cydia Impactor..
      This is part of Epic vs Apple battle.

      Developers either don’t port or remove iOS apps from Mac Store in order to block installations on M1.
      It is their right and Apple should honor that.

      I support Apple’s iOS ‘close garden’.

      • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Alex5723.
      • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Alex5723.
    • #2336141

      Alex: Well, now you dropped the other shoe:  OK, the issue is clear and yes, if the developers’ wish is not to have their iPhone application software installed in M1 Macs, then they should do something to avoid that from happening and if Apple is offering them a way to do that and is, in fact, offering them not one, but two ways, well then …

      For my part, the only thing that I still have to explain is that I am not too interested in the problems of the developers, their wishes or designs (and hypothetical ones too, at least to me as I lack direct evidence of these). No, what I am interested in is what this means to me, the potential user with a potential desire to install and use iPhone applications on a potential M1 Mac of my own, all of it to become actualized, perhaps, some day. While, as a present and actual user, I’m also concretely concerned that this newly reported idea of Apple might slowly, or not so slowly, come to be applied, on some not such a good and not very distant day, also to Intel Macs like my present one, and applications that are not inside the Apple store will become uninstallable in my Mac. As it happens, I am a bit of an anarchist, or a libertarian, or perhaps even an absolutist when it comes to decide what to install, use, and how, on  a machine I own, that is mine, not Apple’s, regardless of the opinions and preferences of the would-be regulators of my computing, of whose intentions color me skeptic.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2337026

      I’m hoping the “temporary change” remains permanent.

      I’m fine with Apple putting in safeguards against stealing the license to another user’s app (Apple already has this in place since the user’s Apple ID from the App Store is embedded in the App), and I’m fine with Apple disallowing jailbroken apps on Apple Silicon devices for now (if a court rules that Apple is forced to allow non-App Store apps on Apple devices, then there can be a legal process by which Apple allows this, which I plan to write as an AskWoody column coming up on how it “should” look if it were to happen).

      What I do want Apple to keep their hands off of is the ability for me to install an app I own an App Store license for on my Mac, even if the App hasn’t been added to the Mac App Store (similar to how one can install App Store apps on iOS devices “sideloading” them using iTunes in the past or iMazing today). Some developers shy away from the Mac App Store since Apple hasn’t made it a great experience for developers. I can see where some developers don’t want to bother with the Mac App Store yet. As long as I can still run such apps on my Mac that I own the license to, that’s what I want to do. If a developer totally hates the idea of it and doesn’t like me doing so, I’m willing to forgo support while running it on a device the developer chooses not to support.

      Nathan Parker

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    • #2342385

      Apple once again starts blocking M1 Mac users from side loading iPhone and iPad apps

      ..Thanks to tools like iMazing, it was possible to download the IPA files of iOS apps you have purchased from the App Store and then install them manually on M1 Macs, which allowed users to run apps like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even Netflix on macOS. Unfortunately, this seems to have annoyed some developers, which made Apple block this process permanently.

      9to5Mac tried to side load different iOS apps on M1 Macs with both macOS Big Sur 11.2 and macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta, but it wasn’t possible to install them. ..

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