Apple’s radical update to the macOS platform will have to wait before it can take to the stage. Although Tim Cook and his team will take to the virtual stage this week, the focus will be on the iPhone finally shipping with 5G. The revolutionary MacBooks will have to wait for their moment in that spotlight… a spotlight that will ask how Tim Cook is going to solve the biggest problem facing macOS over the next few years.
This problem arises from Tim Cook’s decision to move the entire macOS platform to Apple’s own chip designed based around ARM. The presumptive MacBook and MacBook Pro releases following this decision, expected to be on sale before the end of 2020, will set the tone for the transition’s success. I’ll be carefully watching how Apple addresses the biggest issue of app compatibility both during the presentation during the launch event and beyond as they reach the market.
The bar is set high for Apple. It’s clear that the geekerati are expecting the new MacBook ARM machines to carry backwards compatibility for all of their key applications as well as unlocking new experiences and power with apps specifically coded for the ARM environment. This will initially be handled by Rosetta 2, built-in software which will allow x86-Intel based apps to run on the new ARM-based hardware.
Apple has suggested that, thanks to setting up each app for Rosetta 2 during the installation process rather than at runtime, users will not notice that emulation is being used. Like any technological claim, the market will decide if this statement stands up in all cases. Consumers who are looking to invest in a high-end machine – and by its suffix the MacBook Pro certainly sets itself up as such – will want a full suite…