How To Run iOS Apps on a Mac
One of the main selling points of Apple devices is their cohesive ecosystem. They’re designed to work seamlessly with one another, and no other tech company has yet been able to match the convenience of this system.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that all Apple devices work as one. Different operating systems may have some similarities, and they work well together, but they are still unique at their core.
Luckily, there are ways of running iPhone and iPad apps on your Mac. Here are two of the best ones:
Update Your MacOS
Before you start digging around for 3rd party solutions, know that Apple wants to do the exact thing you’re looking for.
With the introduction of new macOS, 10.14 Mojave, Apple started building iOS-like apps for Macs. Aside from the adaption to the big screen, the apps look and work exactly the way they do on your iPhone or iPad.
As of this writing, there are four iOS apps you can use on an updated Mac:
- Voice Memos
Apple plans on releasing many new apps in the future. They’re working on new cross-platform services. Arcade is a good example, as it will give you hundreds of games across all your Apple devices.
To accommodate these changes, the new macOS also comes with a redesigned store. Soon you’ll be able to download many iOS-like apps right to your Mac.
Many existing macOS features and apps have received some neat updates, so if you still haven’t updated, it might be a good idea to do it right now. In addition to the upgrades, you’ll also stay up-to-date with all the latest software from Apple.
So if you’re willing to take a patient approach, just update your macOS, and soon you won’t have to do anything else to get your favorite iOS apps on Mac. But until that happens, here’s what you can do right now:
Until Apple rolls out more iOS apps for macOS, the second best thing you can do is simulate them. iPadian is the most popular software for doing this.
It’s a great simulator that lets you run very close approximations of iOS apps and games on a Mac. The untrained eye might not even notice the difference, as the apps are so well-simulated.
Installation is pretty straightforward, but you’ll need another piece of software first – Adobe AIR.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Download and install Adobe AIR
- Download iPadian (you can find the Mac version on Softpedia)
- Run the .exe file
- Wait for the download to finish, then open the simulator.
Now, there are some things you should know about iPadian. Even though it’s the most comprehensive option at the moment, it’s far from perfect.
First of all, you don’t get to use your existing iOS apps with their saved data. iPadian has its own store, so you have to download all apps and games from there. The library receives updates on a regular basis, and it’s very extensive, but there’s no absolute guarantee you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Another concern is the quality of the simulations. It might be a bit hard to use apps and games that rely heavily on touchscreen controls. Although the adaptation is good, you may have some trouble using certain apps with your touchpad/mouse/keyboard. Luckily, the visuals and audio have no such problems.
Aside from these shortcomings, iPadian is an overall good solution to use while waiting for Apple to introduce real iOS apps to macOS. Even though the user experience isn’t always intuitive, this is the best current substitute for actual iOS software.
To Wait or Not to Wait?
If you really need to use iOS apps on your Mac right now, iPadian is your safest bet. There are other simulators that can make this happen, but they’re not really worth the time and effort you have to put into getting them up and running.
These are exciting times for Apple users, especially those who want their apps to be available from every device. Apple will start rolling out all kind of cross-platform services in 2019, so you can definitely expect the differences between different operating systems to start disappearing.
Before we get the chance to enjoy everything that Apple plans on introducing, you can DIY your own iOS platform on your Mac. Follow the steps you saw here, and you’ll have iOS apps on a big screen in no time.