Apples Worldwide developer conference is currently underway, with the company already has made some significant announcements, one of which was the unveiling of the much-anticipated ios14, which will be available to devices currently running ios 13, this fall. The other big news comes regarding a hardware alteration for the next generation of Apple computers. That’s right, as many leakers, analysts and tech insiders had predicted, Apple has decided to transition to its own ARM-powered silicon chips for some of its Mac hardware.
What is Apple silicon?
The new A12Z chip, dubbed as “Apple silicon,” is expected to power all future iMacs, replacing the intel chips the company had been using in its PCs over the past decade. The new arm-powered chips are similar to the A-series processors Apple uses in its iPhones and iPads, so its incorporation in the new iMac will give developer’s a more streamlined experience across all of its devices. Infact the company has gone on to state that in the future, the new chip would allow apps built for ios and iPad OS to run natively on the iMac.In terms of performance, Apple silicon promises high levels of computing power with significantly lower battery consumption, making future iMacs much more efficient than their predecessors.
The shift from intel
Apple transitioned to Intel processors for their Mac back in 2006 from the PowerPC chips it had been using since 1994. This makes the shift to Apple’s arm-based chips, the most notable change in recent history, prompting many to question the company’s decision. Apple has reportedly attributed the swap to slowing performance gains by Intel’s chips, with tech giant’s own processors providing substantially higher performance.
While this is bad news for Intel, the company is still set to provide its chips for some of the apples upcoming devices. Apple is reportedly planning to phase out Intel chips in all its macs over 2 years, starting with the launch of its latest iMac later this year.
New Mac OS
Apple also announced a new version of macOS to go with its new arm-chips. The new OS, available to download in developer beta, is called Big Sur. The new software will feature new updates to the messages and maps app, which come inbuilt with the software. Another app featured to get a significant upgrade is the Apples Safari web browser. The browser will be redesigned with a custom start page, an improved tab design, and “a new dedicated category in the App Store” to make it easier for users to discover extensions by their favorite developers.
Big Sur will also include a new version of Rosetta, compatible with the new chips, which will enable automatic translation for existing apps at install time. This would allow apps to run without modification, even if developers have not fully updated them.
The switch to new arm-based Macs with a sleek new OS is exciting news and may indicate the return of innovation to the company. However, whether the new Mac lives up to the hype is something we’ll just have to wait and see.