How to Use Touchscreen Apps with Keyboard on M1 MacBook

Apple’s new MacBooks run on in-house Apple M1 chips based on the company’s ARM architecture. While that means a lot of great things for battery life and overall productivity, it also means that macOS can now run iPhone apps as well. However, many iOS apps are touch-optimized and the Mac does not have a touchscreen. So, if you want to play Between Us or similar on your M1 MacBook, here’s how to use touchscreen apps with keyboard and trackpad on M1 MacBook Air and Pro.

Use Touchscreen Apps with Keyboard and Trackpad on Mac

Since MacBooks don’t have a touchscreen, Apple tried to find a way to use touch-optimized apps in macOS. It’s called Touch Alternatives and in this post I will show you how to enable and use touch alternatives on macOS.

How to Enable Tap Alternatives

Surprisingly, macOS doesn’t have a dedicated preference pane or anything like that for touch alternatives. The only way to enable this feature is if you use an app that supports touch inputs. For example, games like Among Us, Crossy Road, and others you download from the App Store will allow you to do this.

  • Launch the app for which you want to use the touch controls. In this example, I’m using Among Us to enable the feature.

  • Click the name of the application in the menu bar.

click the app name in the menu bar

  • Here, click on ‘Touch Alternatives’.

enable touch alternatives mac

Your Mac will show touch alternatives built in macOS to use touch-sensitive apps using the keyboard and trackpad, and you can now use the touch alternatives to interact with the app.

Use Keyboard Touchscreen Apps on M1 MacBook

Touch Alternatives Keymapping

After enabling touch alternatives, you won’t be able to see which keys do what. This is because macOS only shows the touch alternatives help menu once when you first launch the app.

If you haven’t taken a screenshot of the touchscreen alternatives available to you, we list them here for your convenience.

  • Spacebar: tap the middle of the window
  • Arrow keys: swipe from the middle of the window
  • Scroll: drag from the mouse pointer position
  • Use the trackpad as a multi-touch pad: press and hold the soft key ⌥. You can now use the trackpad as a multi-touch area for the app.
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You can also make this touch alternative keymapping screen appear by installing another touch-optimized app and enabling Touch Alternatives.

Using iPhone Apps with Keyboard and Trackpad on M1 MacBook

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about using touchscreen iOS apps with a keyboard on your M1 MacBook. You can also use touch-only apps on your Mac, thanks to the built-in touch alternatives feature. There’s a learning curve, especially if you’ve always wanted to use touch-optimized apps with your Mac keyboard and touchpad, but mostly try to use iPhone or iPad apps on your Mac. It’s a pretty solid way to recruit.

What do you think of touch alternatives on Mac? Have you used any iOS apps on your laptop yet? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

Moyens Staff
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