Apple is moving away from Intel-based Macs towards ARM-based chipsets based on its own design. That unlocks a number of advantages, including more efficient processors, better power consumption, and lower temperatures, all of which are incredibly attractive for mobile devices.
That’s one of the many reasons why ARM is a dominant force on mobile devices. The question now is whether they can make the jump not just to desk-bound computers but to make the jump and deliver the ultimate performance demanded by power users.
Which is why I find the discussions over Apple releasing both a MacBook and a MacBook Pro later this month needing to address one issue. What’s going to put the ‘Pro’ in the MacBook Pro? And what
Apple has said very little publicly about the project, other than to confirm a rough timescale at WWDC 2020, and to issue mac Mini styled ARM-powered ‘Developer Transition Kits’ presumably under very strict NDAs to allow apps to be recoded and optimised for macOS on ARM.
The implicit promise is that the new macOS on ARM platform, and therefore the new Mac laptops, are going to run every program that the current Macs from 2020 can run. That is a big ask, especially right out of the box. And those that run may not reach the same performance levels running under emulation as they would on the native platform. This is on the cutting edge, and that’s not always smooth, as Microsoft’s Surface Pro X has demonstrated.
In terms of capabilities, I’m expecting the mono-monikered MacBook to offer a similar experience to the Surface Pro Xl the first-party apps will work smoothly and offer a matching experience; third-party apps specifically designed for ARM will have a similar standard; and emulation for the extensive back…