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How to run Apple’s MacOS on an iPad

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ipad pro mac mini setupYouTube/Jonathan Morrison

  • YouTuber Jonathan Morrison has pulled off something iPad and Mac fans have been dying to see: A full version of MacOS, Apple’s operating system for Mac computers, running on an iPad.
  • For this setup, Morrison used the 2018 Mac Mini as a way to put MacOS on a 2018 iPad Pro.
  • You have to see it to believe it.

For years, one of the biggest desires among iPad owners is that they wish it could run Mac software. The iPad is an excellent device for consuming media, like watching movies or reading books, but a handful of limitations keep it from being a real work computer — the main one being that it runs iOS, instead of a more robust desktop operating system like Apple’s MacOS.

Apple insists iPads and Mac computers will always be separate devices, and that we will never see desktop software on an iPad. Apple’s Craig Federighi, who leads software efforts for both Mac and iOS devices, told Wired earlier this year that he’s “not into touchscreens on PCs,” and doubts he will change his mind.

But thankfully, there’s a way to experience MacOS on an iPad, even without Apple’s official blessing. YouTuber Jonathan Morrison says he saw this unique setup “hit the internet this week,” and after trying it himself, filmed how well it works for everyone to see.

Here’s how Morrison made MacOS run on an iPad Pro, and how you can do it, too:

Still, Morrison said this setup “works way better than I could have imagined.” To prove his point, he shows Final Cut Pro, Apple’s high-end video software for Macs, running smoothly on his iPad Pro.

Still, Morrison said this setup "works way better than I could have imagined." To prove his point, he shows Final Cut Pro, Apple's high-end video software for Macs, running smoothly on his iPad Pro.

YouTube/Jonathan Morrison

While this setup has some obvious limitations, it gives you an idea of how well Mac software might work on an iPad, since this particular iPad Pro was running Mac software like Safari and Final Cut Pro using a traditional mouse and keyboard, but the touchscreen (and Apple Pencil) could still work, too. It’s incredible to see it all actually perform the way you’d want it to, with no apparent lag, even though this type of iPad ability isn’t officially sanctioned by Apple.

I’ve owned an iPad since the third-generation model, which was the first with a Retina display. I upgraded to the iPad Air when that was available, and I tried upgrading to the most recent iPad Pro, but I sadly returned it less than 24 hours later because I felt it wasn’t a good work computer for me. I love the iPad, and would love to see it succeed as a work computer — this setup gives me hope. With any luck, Apple will encourage more of these types of creative uses for the iPad in the future.

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