First Apple Silicon Macs Available for Order. Should you switch and what's new?

Apple Nov 19, 2020

There are many, thoughts about arm being the future of computers, but there are both pros and cons, which we’ll get into in a moment. The first obvious one is the cde compatibility, programs are not compatible with the arm architecture yet, at least for the computers, because we’re using arm processors already for the mobile phones and smartphones.

For many years, the thing is with most of the desktop apps, they use x86 architecture, which is used by Intel and AMD. The arm architecture isn’t similar to that. So every app developer has to adapt their app to the arm architecture. Well, it’s sounds easy, but it’s actually not, Apple has released their chip, two or three days ago in their event and not two or three, actually. It’s been a week.

Adobe has just announced they’re delivering the beta just for Photoshop and not the other apps. And by estimating the time passed since the announcement and getting to just the beta, not the full final version, you can calculate, it will take roughly a year and maybe two to really get the Adobe apps.

So it seems like it is ok to switch to Apple Silicon except for the creator environment, because they will need the apps right now. Like, yeah, they are powerful and like you would want to use it but there aren’t enough apps . If you’re a professional and it’s very critical for you to have these apps already available for you.

If you are a developer you should starting porting your apps in this case. We’ll talk about the porting stuff that Apple does for the x86 apps in a moment.

There are also a few more cons to this. The apps are, we’re still talking about the apps they are going to change, but there is another problem with the apps. They will have to be optimized as well. We were talking about running the apps. That’s different. We need to also optimize the apps.

Especially for like the big apps that use really, they, the apps that directly talk with the computer CPU and the hardware, like the, most of the games actually use the hardware directly without really talking to the operating system. Apple actually has an emulator that tries to optimize x86 apps to arm chips, but it’s not good enough for games and other power hungry apps that utilize the computer itself.

So the developers must first port the app to run then optimize it, which we think will take a while before all the apps can get usable. Apple says it will take 2 years for them to do all the stuff to make it polished and feel Apple. Apple had had always been for their quality and their software and they would like to continue this norm.

They did not grow because of their hardware, they were always known for their software. And that was what made them so powerful in the industry.

At that point, by the end of 2022 Apple will have all their models using Apple Silicon but they will still announce Intel max till the end of 2022 as well.

Now they said, uh, they will support them for a long while, but we don’t know how much. But if we tried to guess it would probably be for three years or so. That’s what I thought at first. But there’s another fact, you know, the, Mac Pro, the one that has 20 cores, they cost a lot. So would you like it to just last five years? I think they will extend the period, not just for Mac Pro, because they can’t do it for only the Mac Pro they have to continue to support all the computers and, you know, they have transitioned from the power PC processors in the past. It’s I think 2010. What happened is they first announced the lost Intel model. Then they supported the Power PC for two years, with the new major updates. They received the new versions. Then what they did is for another two years, they just patched the OS. They didn’t, send new versions, but the OS was just patched so that it didn’t contain security flaws or something, but that was all they did.

You’s think that’s probably what is going to happen? Well, uh, it seems like so, but there’s a problem with it. You see, when you just send security patches. Adobe apps, for example, where we’ve been talking about them a lot in this episode, but they just support the last two versions, major versions of the macOS so it’s probably won’t be, be able to run the professional apps.

And if you think of Mac Pro again, I think they will have to really adjust their schedule. This time you’d think Apple is probably going to push iMac Pro users and Mac Pro users to just buy their new stuff. Like what they did 10 years ago. But we have another clue but the Power PC Macs weren’t powerful. Like even to that day’s standards. But you know, some Intel Macs, especially the MacBook Pro 16 inches and the Mac Pro are still really powerful. You can’t deny the fact that it will be like in the top tier for a few more years. And I don’t think Apple will just abandon the, these machines. And it’s really hard for them to like release s CPU that will be powerful as an i9, Xeon. Like they are used to releasing laptop and like phone CPU’s bots. They’re not used to that powerful CPU’s.

So really seeing 16, 20, 28 core desktop powerful CPUs will take them at least two years. That will be probably the last thing released, like the last Macs, in the process of transitioning to Apple processors.

Well, uh, we talked about, you know, what’s, we think of the updates and stuff, but we haven’t actually talked about the CPU itself. They released three new models, MacBook Pro 13 inch, the MacBook Air, and the Mac Mini. It’s interesting, actually the way they really, the models, they all use the same processor.

But the prices are way different. And I think the point they’re heading is you don’t pay for the power that they have because, uh, the benchmarks are released and they kind of have similar performances. Only the air has a little bit less because it doesn’t have a fan it’s passively cooled. The way they’re heading is they’re going to make you pay for their luxury, like pro has four studio microphones, and mini doesn’t have a screen, obviously, and the air is the budget option. Well, for now, it seems like their pricing models like that, but I think they will have more powerful CPU options because it’s still not yet powerful to really get us to an Intel processor and, you know, losing windows support and many apps.

Well, they’ll have to have better processors, because we’re losing windows support, many supported apps. So I think they should have that great processor to really balance and make us switch to the Apple Silicon architecture, because otherwise it will just be a loss and for the consumers. So, yeah, it would be a change, but really changing without a point is not really a success.

So I think because of that, they’ll have this pricing strategy because it’s the first step. Which won’t make sense buying in first gen for the, but they will, there will probably be some early adopters, so they will just switch. There always are early adopters for first gen tech.

They’d probably be fine with the new Macs because they have big, big companies behind these apps who would be really quick to adapt to the new technologies. Of course, there are some exceptions too, like the big apps as well. Uh, for example, final cut has been optimized for the latest macs. It runs really well, but premiere is not really.

There are also a lot more surprising exceptions. You’d be surprised by knowing Google Chrome didn’t work on Apple Silicon. They have it patched but some code depended on its libraries. There is a framework called Electron. It uses JS Code to generate desktop apps.

Your are probably running many apps that use Electron, it runs Discord. It runs Spotify. Actually, what it does is it uses the Chrome framework inside of it.

It’s off getting an M1 Mac is similar to getting a normal Mac. They are premium. Obviously you pay for it. They have great speakers. They have great keyboards. So. It depends on the consumers to buy one or not

Should You Buy One?

Well, you can switch if you are a casual user with no dependence over app compatibility. New macs have astonishing battery life. They can go up to 22 hours. They can run iOS and iPadOS apps. But that’s pretty much it. macOS Big Sur is still pretty buggy and most apps don’t even work on Intel Macs. Windows support is gone as well. You can’t run VMs as well. For now, we suggest you wait for a few more generations. They are still in the early process of making their own processors. They will probably have new flaws discovered upon usage.

What about Intel Macs?

We think it is safe to still buy an Intel Mac. If you want the reasons, check our comments above as it is a complicated matter.

Thanks for reading.

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Yiğit Kerem Oktay

Owner of Skyfallen, a technology and programming nerd and a student. Do we need more? I think that is enough.

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