I bought many iOS Apps on various iPads and iPod touchs. This Wednesday I will have my first Mac, a Mac Mini, so my question is: Will I be able to download these Apps without any charge, if they are available on Mac Store?

I ask this because I have been watching some videos and have seen GarageBand on the Mac but I don't know if it's the same App. I know that the App Store and Mac Store are different, but, like some Apps on AppStore have a plus symbol on their icons corners saying these Apps can be run on iPad, iPod touch and iPhone I wonder whether there will be some Apps for both iOS and the Mac.

Also, I don't know if GarageBand was released on Mac before iOS devices.

3 Answers 3


At the moment, you can't really do this. Although I suspect that Apple is looking to integrate iOS and macOS in the future so that this sort of thing can be done (purely speculation).

GarageBand on the Mac is different from the iPad version (it's more comprehensive) and it has been available on macOS for far longer than on iOS.

It is possible to run iOS apps in the Simulator app that comes with Xcode. However, it's not as simple as downloading an app from the App Store. You'd have to get the source code for the app, compile it in Xcode and run in the Simulator. Most apps being closed source, this won’t be possible!

  • 2
    "Although I suspect that Apple are looking to integrate iOS and Mac OSX in the future..." Now it's real. Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 17:28

In general no - one reason is that the processor in the iPads/iPhones etc is an ARM one and in Macs is now an Intel x86 and used to be a PPC, the instruction sets are just completely different.


and yes, GarageBand was released a long time on Macs before it was released on iOS.

Not only the problem with iOS apps are that they are compiled for a different processor (ARMs), the fact that they rely on touch for it's interface instead of a mouse/keyboard would make them practically useless on a Mac.

There is a simulator for iOS apps under development in Xcode, but you can't run apps that have been bought already, only the ones you are developping yourself, and is only practical for test purposes, to take out the bugs.

  • I thought maybe with the Magic TrackPad or Magic Mouse could be possible to emulate the touch screen but now it's clear to me. I will develop apps for iOS but I will have to read a lot. Thanks. Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 8:44
  • Wouldn't the magic trackpad make an awesome touch gaming controller? I mean as in to hold with both hands, akin to holding a iDevice.
    – abc905
    Commented Nov 12, 2011 at 12:33

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