Apple on Monday announced its much-anticipated plan to make the move from Intel processors to its own custom silicon for its Mac computer lineup.
Following the WWDC 2020 keynote announcement, Intel gave a statement to AppleInsider promising that it will continue to support Apple, while also stating its belief that its processors are still the best option for developers.
“Apple is a customer across several areas of business and we will continue to support them,” said an Intel spokesperson.
“Intel remains focused on delivering the most advanced PC experiences and a wide range of technology choices that redefine computing. We believe Intel-powered PCs — like those based on our forthcoming Tiger Lake mobile platform — provide global customers the best experience in the areas they value most, as well as the most open platform for developers, both today and into the future.”
Apple plans to build a macOS experience on a version of its A-series ARM-based chips used in the Cupertino firm’s iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV. The company believes the movie will offer higher performance with lower power usage.
The transition means all of Apple’s products will use a common architecture, making it easier for developers to write and optimize their apps for the entire Apple ecosystem. The company on Monday demonstrated the new features of its upcoming macOS Big Sur operating system on a Mac running on Apple’s A12Z Bionic System on a Chip (SoC).
Developers can easily convert their existing apps to run on Apple silicon, and for the first time, developers can make their iOS and iPadOS apps available on the Mac without any modifications.
Apple is offering a range of technologies to make the transition to Apple silicon smooth and seamless. With everything built into Xcode 12, such as native compilers, editors, and debugging tools, most developers will be able to get their apps running in a matter of days. Using Universal 2 application binaries, developers will be able to easily create a single app that taps into the native power and performance of the new Macs with Apple silicon, while still supporting Intel-based Macs.
The translation technology of Rosetta 2 will allow users to run existing Mac apps that have not yet been updated, including those with plug-ins. Virtualization technology allows users to run Linux. Developers can also make their iOS and iPadOS apps available on the Mac without any modifications.
“From the beginning, the Mac has always embraced big changes to stay at the forefront of personal computing. Today we’re announcing our transition to Apple silicon, making this a historic day for the Mac,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With its powerful features and industry-leading performance, Apple silicon will make the Mac stronger and more capable than ever. I’ve never been more excited about the future of the Mac.”
Apple Developer Program members can start moving their apps to Apple silicon by applying for the Universal App Quick Start Program. The program provides access to documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12, and includes the limited use of a DTK, which will enable developers to build and test their Universal 2 apps. The DTK, which must be returned to Apple at the end of the program, consists of a Mac mini with Apple’s A12Z Bionic SoC inside and desktop specs, including 16GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and a variety of Mac I/O ports. Developers can apply to the program at developer.apple.com, and the total cost of the program is $500.