The M1 Macs have become a real powerhouse, not only surpassing their Intel equivalents in terms of performance but also boasting of the ability to run some iOS and iPadOS apps. Of course, it’s not like some magical device that immediately makes any and all mobile apps compatible with Apple’s new computers and there are definitely some very rough corners that still need to be smoothed out. One of those is gaming, an area that the next macOS update may finally address with game controller emulation.
Support for running iOS and iPadOS apps isn’t automatic nor perfect. Developers have to indicate that they want their apps to run on macOS on these M1-powered Macs. Even when they do, however, not all apps may work perfectly on a desktop or laptop context, at least not without some adjustment. That’s true for “normal” apps but even truer for games.
Games on iPhones and iPads are primarily designed with touch controls in mind while some do have support for the few game controllers that are compatible with Apple’s mobile platforms. When it comes to running these on Macs, however, only the latter can directly be supported by plugging in a controller. For the rest of the iOS games out there, however, Apple will, fortunately, provide new ways for those with keyboards and mice to join in on the fun.
MacRumors reports on new Touch Alternatives and Game Control settings available when running iOS and iPadOS games on M1 Macs. Game Control allows users to assign controller buttons to keyboard keys and trackpad actions while Touch Alternatives map touch gestures like swiping or even phone tilt to keyboards and touchpads as well.
These new features were spotted in the beta testing version of macOS Big Sur 11.3, suggesting that they will be present in the final version of the release. The beta also adds support for the new PS5 and Xbox One X controllers, allowing M1 Macs to become even better gaming devices.