Apple M1 MacBooks will soon be able to run Android apps, as well as iOS

Apple MacBook Air (M1,2020)
(Image credit: Future)
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It looks like Android apps could be coming to Apple MacBooks and Macs that run on the new M1 chip, with the BlueStacks application introducing support for ARM-based PCs.

Late last year, Apple parted ways with Intel to create its own chips for its MacBooks and Macs – known as the M1 chip – which is based on ARM.

This allowed the M1 MacBooks to run iOS apps with relative ease, as they were designed for iPhones and iPads that are similarly based on ARM hardware. This opened up those Macs to thousands of brilliant apps and games.

Now, that library is about to get even bigger. 

And, if you're new to macOS, here's how to use the Mac App Store.

Coming to BlueStacks 5

BlueStacks (opens in new tab) is a popular Android emulator that brings Android apps to PCs. At the moment, it only runs on Intel or AMD processors, but ARM support will be coming soon. 

While the Android apps will require a degree of emulation to make them work on M1 MacBooks (or Windows 10 devices with ARM processors), the fact that Android apps usually run on ARM means that there’s no need for “binary translation” as BlueStacks Chief Architect Sharad Agarwal reveals (opens in new tab).

While BlueStacks 5 will eventually bring Android apps to ARM-based Windows 10 devices as well, it seems that the company is mainly eyeing up getting Android apps on Macs, with Agarwal stating: “We see the market for BlueStacks App Player expanding considerably with Apple's endorsement of running iOS apps on the Mac form factor.”

BlueStacks 5 is currently in beta, and brings faster install and launch times for apps, 40% less RAM consumption, smoother framerates when playing games and an ‘Eco Mode’ that cuts CPU usage by 80% when multitasking.

With Android apps joining iOS apps, plus the huge amount of existing Mac apps that can be used on M1 Macs and Macbooks like the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) – currently our pick for the best laptop in the world – you’ll soon have a huge library of brilliant apps running in macOS Big Sur.

Via Laptop Mag (opens in new tab)


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.