Why are most apps available for iPhone and iPad but not Mac computer desktops?

Charlie December 4, 2011
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I see a lot of applications talked about on MakeUseOf that say they are for the iPhone and iPad that I would like to use. When I click on the link of the app, it takes me to the app that says it is for iPad and iPhone.

I have a brand new Mac desktop I bought in August of this year and I would like some of these apps. Would they work on my iMac or not. If not, why don’t they make these apps for the iMac to?

For example Ugly Meter and Am I Ugly are 2 apps I would love to try, but they say they are good for iPhone and iPad. What about making them for iMac to?

Please answer this question since it has been bothering me for a long time.

  1. Birgit
    August 5, 2012 at 7:41 am

    How can i play an i pad app in my i mac?

    • Charles Dale
      August 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Most apps for your iPad can not be played on your Mac. Check to see what the app is made for. If it says for iPad and iPhone but does not say Mac, it probably won't work on the Mac. That is why I started this thread to begin with.

  2. James Bruce
    December 5, 2011 at 8:45 am

    It's an interesting point, but I think the truth is that there simply isn't a demand for those kind of worthless time-waster apps on the Mac OS like there is on a mobile platform. Or rather, we already have Flash for that. Chances are that your "ugly meter" or whatevr already has a flash version online somewhere, so use that. Most of those crappy useless apps are just ports of flash stuff anyway. 

    To be honest, I'm gad the Mac app store isn't full of crap. The merging of iOS and OSX is not neccessarily a good thing, despite Apple's efforts to push things in that direction. 

    • Charles Dale
      December 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      I would not want the Mac app store full of crap either but would still like the choice to use apps that I find interesting on my Mac should I choose to. To have the choice would be good.

  3. Ashutosh Mishra
    December 5, 2011 at 4:42 am

    iPhones and iPads are extremely popular, so more developers develop apps for those devices than for Macs, which are quite popular in the US and Europe but not much elsewhere. Plus, the operating system on a Mac is Mac OS X, which is entirely different from iOS on the iPhone and iPad. To bring an iPhone app to Mac, a developer has to rewrite his app and make it compatible with OS X, and many developers don't have the resources or time to do that. 

    I'd suggest that you use your iDevices for using the casual and fun apps, and your Mac for work purposes or watching videos, etc. 

    • Charles Dale
      December 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      I like your answer but I have no iDevices. I only have a Mac and feel it would be a shame to get an iPhone or iPad just to run certain applications. Your answer though, does though make sense and it helps me to understand why the majority of apps are for the iPhone and iPad and not the Mac.

      Thank you for your answer.

  4. Mike
    December 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I'm afraid you are in the wrong place for your question...

    [Unless there are developers around here...] We can neither change nor answer why most iOS Apps are solely available for iOS and not for Mac OS X.

    You should better contact each individual developer and tell them that you'd like to see their Apps on your Mac OS X device.

    • Charles Dale
      December 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm

      Thank you fort your answer.

      I thought someone here would know the reason why, or you never know, there might be a developer who looks at this site and might see my question. At least I now know that there are simulators that will allow you to use iPhone and iPad apps on a Mac. I did not know that before.

      • Mike
        December 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm

        Well, I'm afraid this won't help you much either...

        In order to run iOS Apps within the Xcode Simulator you need their "Source Code" (the original Xcode Project files).

        I doubt any developer is willing to give them out.

  5. Anonymous
    December 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    well you need itunes to download and then to sync to ipad or iphone, and use them on the device.

    Normally they are written for ipad/iphone.

    if you want to run iphone or ipad applications on Mac you need a simulator

    Pieceable Viewer

    • Charles Dale
      December 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you for your answer. This is the 1st time I've ever heard of simulators where you can run iPad and iPhone apps on the iMac.

      Very interesting.

      • Anonymous
        December 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm

        there are other simulators like for running palm games, windows mobile, symbian...i know that works on Windows OS

        • Charles Dale
          December 5, 2011 at 1:50 am


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