MacOS Big Sur 11.3 May Improve How iPad, iPhone Apps Run On M1 Macbooks

While Apple allowed iPhone and iPad apps on the new M1 powered Macbooks, that doesn't necessarily make them compatible.


The next version of Apple’s MacOS Big Sur operating system will try to solve how iPad and iPhone apps function on the desktop. The company started rolling out the beta version for Big Sur 11 a day after it rolled out the official version of Big Sur 11.2 to users. Amongst the changes in MacOS Big Sur 11.3 are fixes for the user experience with iPhone and iPad apps on Apple’s new Macbooks that run on the M1 chip. The new chip is based on an ARM architecture, allowing the company to bring virtually its entire app library from iPhones and iPads to these new Macbooks.

How iPad apps will become better

That said, allowing iPhone and iPad apps on Macs was only the first step in the process. The new M1-powered Macbooks are still desktop PCs, meaning these apps need to be modified for the PC in some ways. With the next update, Apple tries to bring some such fixes, though developers will still have to make their own changes too. With 11.3, apps meant for iPadOS will appear larger than before and there’s a new preference pane for iPhone and iPad apps that allows keyboard commands to be used instead of touchscreen commands. This is important, since Apple still hasn’t made a Mac that uses touchscreen displays. The touch alternatives will allow users to use the keyboard for tap, swipe and drag gestures, which are common on iPhones and iPads.

What other changes are coming

But MacOS Big Sur 11.3 doesn’t stop at iPad and iPhone updates alone. The new version will bring a more customisable start page for Safari, allowing you to rearrange sections like Reading List, Siri Suggestions and more. Developers will also get slightly deeper access to Safari, allowing them to create extensions that run on a new tab. The new web speech API will also be offered to them.

For Apple Music, there’s a new shortcut for the Made For You section that brings personalized playlists for users, while the Apple News app is getting some design changes too. Lastly, MacOS Big Sur 11.3 also adds support for the new Xbox and PlatStation DualSense controllers, similar to the latest iPadOS 14.5 update.