Apple Emulator For Mac

But microM8 is also a solid Apple II emulator with all the common features you would expect, such as: Play a wide variety of Apple II games, including DHGR games, with NTSC artefacting and vertical blending options; Write Apple IIe programs that use super-high resolution (SHR) graphics modes from the Apple IIGS; Analog USB game pad and mouse-based joystick / paddle controls. Apple js is an Apple emulator written using only JavaScript and HTML5. It has color display, sound and disk support. It works best in the Chrome and Safari browsers. PearPC is the first free, open source PowerPC Architecture emulator out there, and it seems to have made great progress so far. Though not ready for stable usage, it can run Mac OS X 10.3 more or less. SheepShaver: SheepShaver is a PowerPC emulator written by Christian Bauer. As the name suggests, Parallels let you use Windows app parallel on Mac OS. The Apple II family of computers has its fair share of emulators available, as shown in sites like Zophar’s Domain with its Apple II emulator list. However, if you are a Mac OSX user, your option list is shorter, and if you start looking around, most of the options available haven’t been.

© Shutterstock New Apple chipset Mac computers will enable you to run iPad apps natively on your Mac. Shutterstock
  • You can’t natively run iPad apps on a Mac computer without using an emulator, though that will change with a new generation of Macs, set to come out by the end of 2020.
  • The new Macs will run on new Apple-designed chips that are similar to the ARM chips in iPadOS devices, making them compatible.
  • Older Intel-based Macs can’t run iPad apps without an emulator, which isn’t easy to use and has many limitations.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you want to run apps from your iPad on a Mac, the traditional answer is that you can't – at least not ordinarily. There is an exception — you can use an iPadOS emulator on your Mac. Read more about that below. But at this time, iPad apps are fundamentally incompatible with the architecture and operating system on a Mac computer. That is changing, though.

You'll be able to run iPad apps on some Macs soon

At the beginning of 2020, Apple announced that it would soon start to produce Mac computers with its own Apple-designed chipsets, abandoning the Intel chips it has used for many years. When it does this, the new Macs — which will share a similar architecture to iPadOS devices — will be able to run iPad apps.

Apple has made its own ARM-based chips for iOS and iPadOS devices for years. ARM chipsets are characterized as low-power processors commonly found in mobile devices like phones, tablets, and some laptops, optimized to deliver the best battery life. Starting late in 2020, Apple is expecting to release MacBooks and other Mac computers with similar high-performance ARM chips.

Because of the similar architecture, Apple has already announced that this will allow Apple computers to natively run iPad apps with no further changes or modifications. You'll be able to install iPad apps directly from the Mac's app store.

© Apple With the newest Apple chipset Macs, you'll be able to natively run iPad apps on your computer. Apple

The exact timing is uncertain, but the first of these new Macs are expected before the end of 2020. Keep in mind that for quite some time to come, there will be both Intel chipset and Apple chipset Macs around, and only the ones with Apple chipsets will be able to run iPad apps. This might be a little confusing until most Intel-based Macs have been retired.

Running iPad apps with an emulator

The new Macs may be coming soon, but that's not the entire story. Because software developers need to be able to test iPadOS apps quickly and easily, they sometimes use emulator software to run iPad apps on their Macs.

There are a handful of emulators available for the Mac that can run iPad apps, but these programs are not easy to install or manage, and it's generally not possible to install apps from the Apple App Store – you're limited to just apps you developed yourself and have stored locally. One of the most common emulators to use is Xcode, which is a simulator offered by Apple.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

PowerPC application (Microsoft Word for Mac 2004) running on OS X for Intel in Rosetta
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Operating systemMac OS X 10.4.4–10.6.8 (Intel)
macOS Big Sur 11.0–present (ARM)
TypePowerPCbinary translation (original version)
Intel binary translation (Rosetta 2)

Rosetta is a dynamic binary translator developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, an application compatibility layer between different CPU architectures. It gives developers and consumers a transition period in which to update their application software to run on newer hardware.

The first version of Rosetta, introduced in 2006, allows PowerPC applications to run on Intel-based Macs. The second version, introduced in 2020, is a component of macOS Big Sur to aid in the Mac transition to Apple Silicon from Intel processors.[1] The name 'Rosetta' is a reference to the Rosetta Stone, the artifact which enabled translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs.[2]


Mac transition to Intel processors
Macbook emulator

Apple released the first version of Rosetta in 2006 when it changed the instruction set architecture of the Macintoshplatform from the PowerPC to the Intel processor. It was initially included with Mac OS X v10.4.4 'Tiger', the version that was released with the first Intel-based Macs, and allows many PowerPC applications to run on certain Intel-based Mac computers without modification. Rosetta is based on QuickTransit technology.[3] It has no graphical user interface, which led Apple to describe Rosetta as 'the most amazing software you'll never see'.[4] Rosetta is not installed by default in Mac OS X v10.6 'Snow Leopard', but can be retained as an option via the installer or Apple Software Update.[5] Rosetta is neither included nor supported in Mac OS X v10.7 'Lion' or later, which therefore cannot run PowerPC applications.[5]

Rosetta translates G3, G4, and AltiVec instructions, but not G5 instructions. Although most commercial software for PowerPC-based Macs were compatible with these requirements, any applications that relied on G5-specific instruction sets had to be modified by their developers to work on Rosetta-supported Intel-based Macs. Apple advised that applications with heavy user interaction but low computational needs (such as word processors) would be best suited to Rosetta, while applications with high computational needs (such as AutoCAD, games, or Adobe Photoshop) would not.[6]

Rosetta also does not support the following:[7]

  • The Classic environment, and thus any non-Carbon application built for Mac OS 9 or earlier
  • Code that inserts preferences into the System Preferences pane
  • Applications that require precise exception handling
  • Screen savers
  • Kernel extensions and applications that depend on them
  • Bundled Java applications or Java applications with JNI libraries that cannot be translated
  • Java applets in Rosetta-translated applications, meaning that a native Intel web browser application, rather than a legacy PowerPC version, must be used to load Java applets

The reason for Rosetta's reduced compatibility compared to Apple's earlier 68k emulator for PPCs lies within its implementation. Rosetta is a user-level program and can only intercept and emulate user-level code. By contrast, the 68k emulator accesses the very lowest levels of the OS by being at the same level as, and tightly connected to, the Mac OS nanokernel on PPC Macs, which means that the nanokernel is able to intercept PowerPC interrupts, translate them to 68k interrupts (then doing a mixed mode switch, if necessary), and then execute 68k code to handle the interrupts. This allows lines of 68k and PPC code to be interspersed within the same fat binary.

Rosetta 2[edit]

Mac transition to Apple Silicon

Rosetta 2 is included as of macOS Big Sur to aid in the Mac transition to Apple Silicon from Intel processors.[1][8] In addition to the just-in-time (JIT) translation support available in Rosetta, Rosetta 2 includes support for translating an application at installation time.[9]

See also[edit]

  • Universal binary – combined PPC/Intel applications that run natively on both processors
  • Fat binary § Apple's fat binary – combined PPC/68k application that ran on older Macintoshes


  1. ^ abWarren, Tom (June 22, 2020). 'Apple is switching Macs to its own processors starting later this year'. The Verge. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  2. ^Core Duo iMacs debut speedy new chipsArchived March 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^'The brains behind Apple's Rosetta: Transitive'. CNET June 8, 2005. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2007.
  4. ^'Rosetta'. Apple. Archived from the original on November 16, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  5. ^ abAppleInsider Staff (February 26, 2011). 'Mac OS X Lion drops Front Row, Java runtime, Rosetta'. AppleInsider. AppleInsider, Inc. Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  6. ^'Rosetta'(PDF). Universal Binary Programming Guidelines, Second Edition. Apple. Archived from the original(PDF) on August 3, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  7. ^'What Can Be Translated?'(PDF). Universal Binary Programming Guidelines, Second Edition. Apple. Archived from the original(PDF) on August 3, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  8. ^Mayo, Benjamin (June 22, 2020). 'Apple announces Mac architecture transition from Intel to its own ARM chips, offers emulation path'. 9to5Mac. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  9. ^WWDC2020 Keynote. Apple Inc. June 22, 2020. Event occurs at 1h39m37s. It translates the apps when you install them, so they can launch immediately and can be instantly responsive. And Rosetta 2 can also translate code on the fly when needed.

External links[edit]

  • Apple Rosetta Web site at the Wayback Machine (archived January 7, 2011)
  • Transitive Corporation web site at the Wayback Machine (archived September 14, 2008)

Apple Emulator For Mac Emulator

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