Apple MacBook: does it surprise … with an ARM processor?
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Every year, Apple supplies new iPhones and iPads with full control of the devices. This is not the case for Macs as they rely on Intel for their performance and release schedule. Building MacBooks around a completely different processor architecture – specifically ARMs – will take the company out of this dependency. The idea of the MacBooks ARM has been around for a while, but apart from rumors and wishes there has never been any evidence that Apple wanted to cut off Intel and AMD.
The whole process of moving to a new type of processor is reminiscent of the change (and resurrection for the brand) of transferring the line of computers from PowerPC processors to Intel ones. It is not only difficult to develop new processors based on ARM architecture, but also to transfer applications. No one wants a new Mac that can't run the software and applications it already knows.
The solution is – in addition to merging iOS and MacOS entirely – to ensure that these future ARM Macs have all the applications now available in the Mac App Store.
Catalyst is an Apple program that allows developers to transfer iPad applications to the Mac. Currently, Apple is urging developers to move their applications to a simple new process. Rumors want iPhone apps to be the next, with the ultimate goal, any app running on any Apple platform. At first glance, it's an Apple plan to further enhance and integrate the ecosystem. With Catalyst an ARM MacBook will be able to launch with a huge list of applications available on the Mac App Store. Catalyst could be part of a much larger strategy with the ultimate goal of preparing the ground for a processor change on the company's computers.
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The process is already underway. Apple has already shut down its most popular application, iTunes, to replace it with three separate Catalyst applications. New platforms are available for all systems. Take Apple Arcade, the company's game subscription service, for example. One of the key features of the service is that all its games will run on almost any Apple device – your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even your Apple TV.
MacBook Air or MacBook 13 ′
What will be the first model? The MacBook Air – or, possibly, an upgraded 13-inch MacBook – is the most sensible solution. The MacBook Air is a device primarily aimed at students and people who spend most of their time on the web or in simple applications. The choice of Catalyst applications in the Mac App Store meets these needs. If you ask us, we will see the first such model at the upcoming WWDC in June 2020. It is developers who will benefit most from the transition and these have proven to be the driving force behind all successful operating systems. Moving to a platform will greatly improve the quality of life in the developer community. The Apple Developer Meeting is therefore the best opportunity to present.
Today's strategy of Apple's Pro computers does not match the ARM processors. The new Mac Pro has its eyes on performance. The all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro focuses on performance as well. The new cooling systems in these products are specially designed to handle powerful processors such as Intel's leading Core i9. Apple's A-series ARM architecture processors are great in performance but can't compete at this level yet. Apple will have to make serious efforts to convince users of its Pro models that they will lose nothing by switching to ARM processors.
A similar situation will be faced by the company with professional applications. From Logic and Final Cut to Premiere and Lightroom, these are professionals-based content creation tools. They are simply irreplaceable from anything less. We may see parallel development of the two architectures until the Core i9 comes in performance. If it doesn't, the Pro series can stay as it is.
Most likely, we will see ARM in the new Mac for the new year and look forward to this new development.
We'll keep you up to date with anything new.