Apple Silicon MacBooks could have this big drawback

Apple Silicon MacBooks could have this big drawback
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Apple Silicon MacBook Pro is expected today, and while it will run iOS apps — a huge perk — you shouldn't expect every app to just be there. In fact, many of the biggest apps will not arrive on the Mac.

For those who need a refresher course, the Apple Silicon-based Macs that will debut today run on the same A-series processors you see in the iPhone — and may be a variant of the A14 Bionic used in the new iPhone 12. And that gives them the ability to run iOS and iPadOS apps. But it's not that easy. 

While all iOS apps will be available by default on the Mac App Store, developers can opt out — and two of the biggest titans already are. This news comes to us from a report from 9to5Mac, which checked the App Store system to verify.

This cross-platform support for iOS apps may be a boon for developers who don't have the capability to make apps for the Mac, but Google and Facebook are both seemingly set to sit on the sidelines for now. This report lists both companies' apps as likely MIA when it comes to Apple Silicon support. 

Of course, both companies have web versions of their apps — and WhatsApp has a Mac App that will probably run fine on Rosetta 2 emulation (if they decide to not rebuild it for Apple Silicon). That includes Instagram, whose web browser version has been quietly improving, adding DMs in recent months.

The biggest question for Apple Silicon Mac apps, if you ask us, is "will Chrome get a native Apple Silicon version?" While Apple developer forums show there was a rocky start, the application finally started to work on the Big Sur betas running on the Apple Silicon Mac mini developer kit. 

If Google doesn't want to bring its iPhone apps to the Mac, it will still have to consider rebuilding its Mac version of Chrome for the Apple Silicon ARM processors. If it decides not to, users will rely on Rosetta 2 to run the legacy version of Chrome, which will (again) probably be fast enough, though Chrome has a bad history of being a resource hog on the Mac.

Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus are also not joining in on the iOS on macOS party. Snapchat — another notable holdout — doesn't have a Mac app or browser mode, so your snaps will continue to live on your phone.

Even some games — including Among Us (a real loss) — won't be ported. 9to5Mac notes that Candy Crush and Real Racing 3 won't be coming over as well. 

These titles could be available after launch, but we shall see. 

iOS apps that may not be ported to Apple Silicon Macs

  • YouTube
  • Most Google apps, including:
  • Google Maps
  • Google Drive
  • Gmail
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Snapchat
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Disney Plus
  • Among Us
  • Candy Crush
  • Real Racing 3
Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.