This is arguably the biggest announcement at Apple’s WWDC 2020 keynote: the Cupertino company will be transitioning to its own processors for future Macs. Not only does this promise huge performance gains and better power efficiency, switching to Apple’s own chips also allow for native iOS and iPadOS app support on macOS.
While no technical specifications of the upcoming Apple chips for Macs were announced at the event, there were a number of pretty interesting (though vague) details. According to the company, there will be a family of SoCs made for Mac products, and they will bring “industry-leading performance per watt and higher performance GPUs.”
To show just what its own processors are capable of, Apple demonstrated a Mac – powered by one of its new chips, of course – effortlessly running Photoshop and Lightroom with extremely smooth animations. On top of that, the gaming performance of the Mac was previewed too with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Based on these examples, the new chips do show a lot of promise.
But transitioning to the new architecture will present some compatibility issues, but Apple claims that the next macOS update, macOS Big Sur, will allow developers to update their apps “in a matter of days.” Even apps that have not been updated for Apple’s new chips will be able to run seamlessly with Rosetta 2, though it remains to be seen just how well this can be accomplished.
Of course, updating Apple’s lineup of Macs with its own chips also allows for apps made for iOS and iPadOS to run on the new platform without a hitch. Apple says that no modifications are necessary to make this possible, which does sound very enticing,
Now, even though future Macs will be powered by Apple’s own processors, the company will only release its first Mac with the new chip by the end of the year. Apple added that the transition from Intel processors to its own chips for Macs will take about two years.
On top of that, this doesn’t mean Intel-based Macs will not be abandoned; Apple will continue to support and release new versions of macOS for these machines in the years to come. In fact, new Intel-based Macs are still in development, and they’re expected to be released in the near future.
Without a doubt Apple has the know-how to make fast, powerful processors, and it showed that much with the iPhone and iPad. It’ll be interesting to see just what the Cupertino company can accomplish with its new chips for Macs – we’re absolutely excited to see how this will pan out.