Apple again bars sideloading of iOS apps on M1 Macs

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Apple with the latest macOS Big Sur release has blocked sideloading of iOS apps on Macs running M1 chips, again preventing users from installing iPhone and iPad apps on its desktop operating system.

The tech giant first constructed hurdles against sideloading in January with server-side protections barring manual installs of iOS and iPadOS apps. Lifted four days later, the ban was expected to see reinstatement with the release of a subsequent macOS update.

As noted by 9to5Mac, the latest version of Big Sur 11.2, issued last week, again activates the server-side block. Further tests show the sideloading policy extends to the current macOS 11.3 beta.

Apple's M1 chip shares an architecture with the company's A-series silicon, making it relatively simple to run existing iOS apps on the desktop platform. Developers who do not wish to distribute their wares on macOS, whether it be for technical or marketing reasons, can opt out of presenting software on the Mac App Store.

Users eager to access popular iOS apps like Facebook, Instagram and Netflix on macOS discovered a workaround that involved downloading and installing IPA files. Apple's server-side restriction renders that process ineffective.

Attempting to install an IPA file now triggers a warning message that reads, "This application cannot be installed because the developer did not intend for it to run on this platform."

Apple has not issued an official comment on sideloading iOS apps on M1 Macs, though it appears that the new policy against such action is permanent.