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How To Install Instagram App on M1 Macs

by Kabir 10 months ago in how to

Manage Instagram from your M1 Macs!

Macuser.group How-To Video Series

Instagram does not offer a web edition where you can upload photos and videos or perform account management. So you are stuck with their app on iPhone / iPad if you're an Apple ecosystem user like me.

Of course, being a software engineer, I can trick the Instagram website into thinking that it is running on a phone. But that sort of trick is ugly for the typical Apple user.

No worries, Apple to the rescue--meet M1 processor-based Macs that can run iPhone or iPad apps natively! No, Houston, we don't have a problem!

Honestly, initially, I thought this is a gimmick! Who needs to run iPhone or iPad apps on a desktop? Then I pondered a bit and realized there are tons of apps that do not have a good web version!

For example, I love the reasonably priced Wyse cameras and use them to monitor various parts of my house from their iPhone app. But sometimes, I am working on my desktop system, and switching to the phone to quickly check if my kids are OK requires a few steps: (a) unlock the phone, (b) run the app and then go to the camera of interest.

A desktop version of their app or a decent web edition would have been nice. But I think because of security and other business reasons, Wyse currently does not have a web edition. So, in this case, running the Wyse app on my Mac Mini M1 would be very nice. And it was! I made a video about it too!

Similarly, managing Instagram from the phone is OK, but what if you want an assistant to run your social media stuff and you don't want to deal with their personal phone? Well, if you have an M1 Mac for them, your problem is solved once you manage to install the Instagram app on your M1 Mac.

Unfortunately, Instagram decided not to make its iPhone / iPad app available on the Mac App Store. So you cannot just download it as I did for the Wyse app. App developers have to be willing to publish their app on the Mac App Store for the app store to show the app for you to download.

But If you know how to extract the App file (.IPA) from the iPhone or iPad device, you can install it on your M1 Mac. Most people won't be able to do this without deep knowledge of how the iOS platform works. This is where a nice little tool called iMazing to handy. You can download the iMazing application for your M1 Mac and then follow my video to get Instagram installed on your system.

Here is the video that you can follow:

There are some limitations that I have noticed on my Mac Mini M1 when running the Instagram app:

  • cannot access external webcam connected via USB
  • cannot access files on the mac, only the iCloud files are available

If you are running the Instagram app on an M1 Macbook Pro with an integrated camera, you should be able to use it.

DEVELOPERS: Publish Your App on the Mac App Store

Now if you are an iOS app developer and want to know how to publish your existing iPhone or iPad app to the Mac App Store, I also have a video for you:

Of course, if you can make an app for iOS, you probably would be able to figure out how to publish it on the Mac App Store quite easily. I just wanted to share the way I did it for one of my apps. Perhaps, the video may save you a little bit of time in R&D.

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