Macs with Apple’s own processors are coming later this year

Highlights
  • Apple will be using ARM-based processors in select Macs launching later this year
  • The brand is not completely moving away from Intel chips just yet but expects the transition to be over in 2 years
  • Apple Silicon would allow Macs to run iOS and iPadOS apps natively

Apple has finally announced that it is making a switch to its own processors for Macs starting late 2020. However, the brand is not making a complete switch right away as there are Macs with Intel chipsets also in the pipeline; nonetheless, this marks a big step for the Cupertino-based company, which will use ARM-based processors that it will manufacture on its own for select Macs launching later this year. If you are wondering what this change this switch will bring along, these new ARM-powered processors will allow these upcoming Macs to run iOS and iPadOS apps natively, which was not possible until now. Moreover, Apple says its custom-built processors will bring industry-leading performance per watt and higher graphics performance, access to neural engine for machine learning, etc.

The Tim Cook-led brand expects the transition from Intel to Apple silicon to happen over the course of two years. In case you are eager to run macOS apps alongside the iOS and iPadOS apps, you might want to pick up the select Mac models coming later this year with these new chipsets. One can imagine that this switch will make things easier especially for the app developers, as it would allow them to test their apps natively. Like Apple always says for its mobile chipsets, the Mac processors are also claimed to offer improved performance and reduced power consumption. Considering Apple’s claims usually turn out to be solid when it comes to mobile processors, we would certainly not bet against these claims.

To ensure that apps function smoothly on these new Macs, the macOS Big Sur will ship with Rosetta 2, a new version of Rosetta, which would translate existing apps while installing to make sure they work on these ARM-powered Macs. While Apple is encouraging app developers to ensure that their apps are optimised for these new processors, Rosetta 2 would ensure that these apps still run in case they are not optimised as well. Apple has also announced that app developers can start moving their apps to Apple silicon with the help of its Quick Start Program, which can be accessed from here. Notably, the cost of the program is $500.

While there have been reports that this switch to ARM processors is to enable performance gains over the Intel chipsets, the brand did not specify if this was the reason why it chose to go with its own processors over Intel’s. We will have to wait and see how this switch turns out for the company in the long run.