macOS Big Sur 11.2 Beta Code Reveals Apple Could Block Users from Sideloading iOS Apps

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 13 Jan 2021

Today Apple released macOS Big Sur 11.2 and iOS 14.4 beta 2 for developers. The update arrives with usual bug fixes and nothing much to talk about. However, the update is likely to block M1 Mac users from sideloading unsupported iOS apps on Apple Silicon Macs.

Until now, Mac users could sideload iOS apps from other sources. Internal code common to both iOS 14.4 and macOS Big Sur 11.2 reveals the operating system will not allow some apps to run on Mac. The changes will only affect apps downloaded from sources other than the Mac App Store.

Currently, Apple Silicon Mac users could install iOS apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Netflix using IPA files. However, the latest beta blocks users from doing so. The code was found in API’s related to DRM (Digital Rights Management) part of the operating system. It is not clear whether the lock is working on macOS Big Sur Beta 2.

macOS Big Sur 11.1 Beta 2 users can still sideload and use iOS apps. That said, Apple can simply enable the lock remotely after the update exits beta and is available for the public.

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

Apple is yet to confirm the change for developers. Interestingly, significant developers have refrained from offering their iOS apps on the Mac App Store. This is one reason why several iOS apps are missing on the Mac App Store. Even Google is yet to offer YouTube on Silicon powered Mac. The list is quite big with apps like Amazon Prime Video, Snapchat, Amazon Prime Video, etc. That said, we are pretty sure eventually developers will port iOS apps to Mac.

[via 9t05 Mac]