Apple is now blocking M1 Mac users from sideloading iPhone and iPad apps

Earlier this week, Apple seeded the latest developer (and public) beta of macOS 11.2 Big Sur. It didn’t come with any major forward facing new features, but it did appear to take one away. It was just a rumor at the time, but now it appears it’s officially official.

As first reported today by 9to5Mac, Apple is now blocking owners of M1-equipped Macs (the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini) from sideloading unsupported iPhone and iPad apps onto their machines. What began as a change discovered in the code of the macOS Big Sur beta, now appears to be live. Apple has essentially disabled the “feature” of sideloading apps.

You could manually install iPhone and iPad apps on an M1 Mac, and it wasn’t hard to do at all. However, it wasn’t necessarily the go-to option for Apple. After all, the company wants developers to submit their apps onto the Mac App Store. The apps are technically vetted through the iOS App Store, but Apple wants that official support for users. So while you could technically download apps like Netflix or HBO Max or Instagram onto your M1 Mac, that wasn’t Apple’s intention.

The change is now live, and it’s not just for the upcoming update for macOS 11.2. No, according to the original report, the server-side change is also present for the public version of macOS 11.1 Big Sur. So, now that it’s live, M1 Mac owners should not be able to sideload iOS apps onto their machines anymore.

9to5Mac has now confirmed that, starting today, this is no longer possible unless the application is available on the Mac App Store. Apple has flipped the necessary sever-side switch to block iPhone and iPad applications from being installed on Apple Silicon Macs.

The change applies to M1 Macs running macOS Big Sur 11.1 as well as the developer or public beta of macOS Big Sur 11.2. The only difference is that users running the macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta will see a more specific error message.

You can see the error message you’ll receive above.

What do you think of this change? Not a fan?