Back in 2006, the iMac and MacBook Pro suddenly became not only the most lovely, but also the fastest Windows PCs available (although they still couldn't match their PC counterparts for games with high graphics requirements).
One of Apple's biggest selling points about its hardware and software products, particularly when it comes to iPhone and iPad, is that the company controls the entire product, and doesn't have to rely on third parties for various parts. There is no obligation for developers to extend their iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac. Universal 2 is the name of the software binary that will work across ARM and Intel Macs while Rosetta 2 is the app that will ensure compatibility with older apps. But Apple will still continue to support its Intel-based Macs for "years to come", and even has some new Intel-based models now in development. Developers can apply to the program at developer.apple.com, and the total cost of the program is $500.
(Image credit: Apple)Macs with Apple Silicon: Why leave Intel?
The transition from Intel processors to Apple's own Apple Silicon processors will take two years to reach the full suite of Mac computers, with the first computers now slated to begin shipping by the end of the year.
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Apple is designing a family of SoCs specifically for the Mac that will have a common architecture across all of Apple's portfolio. To help ease the transition, Apple is bringing us Rosetta 2 on Apple Silicon Macs and new virtualization technology. As you might expect, Apple's own Final Cut Pro also performed well on Apple Silicon, making it easy to add filters to 4K video; plus, the Neural Engine is smart enough to keep the action in the middle of the frame in real time.
Apple has of course been refining their Bionic processor over the last 10 years now but till now the company has remained loyal to Intel on their laptops and desktops. "Today we're announcing our transition to Apple silicon, making this a historic day for the Mac", said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.
This is a monumental shift for Apple but it's not the first time they have done this either.
To help developers get their apps ready for a new era of MacBooks, Apple is providing documentation and sample code, private forums, DTS support incidents, hands-on lab access and a Developer Transition Kit.