It's time for another chipset transition for the Mac, this time from Intel to ARM. The rumors continue to escalate around this potential future for the Mac line, and may see software and hardware announcements soon. An ARM Mac is inevitable, but the question is, when?
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● Apple designed chipset
● New ARM friendly macOS
● Based on existing A-series processors
● Software already exists
● Control over entire stack
● Leave legacy software behind
● Transition likely smoothed by existing hardware
Software shifts and hardware transitions are nothing new to Apple, and we are about to see another huge shift in how they approach consumer technology. Until now, the Mac has relied on innovation and development from Intel to move forward, but with the ARM Mac, Apple will have total control.
Jan 07, 2020 Reference Kindle. If you love reading eBooks, then the Kindle app is a must-have for your Mac. With the Kindle app, you'll get. Apple geeks, pay attention. This little reference tool is going to impress you. It features detailed. Sometimes, you're just trying to find that. Jan 14, 2018 Like its sister program, Pages, Keynote is free to download from the Mac App Store. It works in a similar way to Powerpoint, though there is one small problem. You may have to ask your teacher to plug the projector into your Mac laptop if they’re using Powerpoint, because it won’t be compatible.
Rumors have circulated for a few years now about the potential of an ARM-based Mac. With the introduction of the iPad Pro and continued year-over-year improvements to Apple’s A-series chipsets, an ARM Mac feels almost inevitable.
The past decade has been bumpy for Mac users. Apple has had its own host of issues with designs they introduced, like the butterfly keyboard and cylindrical Mac Pro, but much of what has been holding back the Mac falls on Intel.
Since 2015 Intel has seen marginal improvements in their chipset capabilities and relied upon increased clock speeds and more demands on cooling than actual processor gains. This left Apple with little room to move when it came to innovating on the Mac platform.
Apple even had to implement custom silicon in their Macs to run in tandem with the Intel processors, thus taking some of the load off of the Intel processes.
If Apple controlled the development of all the hardware and software in Mac, just as it has with the iPhone and iPad, then we would see much greater leaps in performance over time. This would allow more room for innovations in design and add in additional use cases and hardware.
Since the release of macOS Catalina, we have seen a slow trickle of Mac Catalyst apps. These are apps designed for iPad that have been formatted to work on Macs with macOS system architecture and Intel chipsets.
While Catalyst has yet to prove a great hit with developers, it lays the groundwork necessary for them to start programming iPad apps as if they were running in a macOS environment.
It is safe to assume that Mac Catalyst developed iPad apps will be easily transitioned, if not directly portable, to an ARM Mac. Catalyst also shows that Apple is capable and learning about making it easy to implement developer tools for transitions between platforms.
Do not be surprised if we see a “Mac Catalyst ARM edition” of some kind very soon.
Perhaps the most crucial development surrounding software for the ARM Mac is SwiftUI. This new language is universal and can easily be used for any Apple Platform during development.
In 2005, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that the Mac would transition to Intel from PowerPC over a year starting in 2006. The entire Mac line transitioned to Intel processors in 2006, first ones in January, and the last in August. Mac OS X Snow Leopard launched in 2009 as Intel only.
To move the entirety of the Mac platform for millions of users, minuscule by today's user base, to a new system architecture with minimal issues was an incredible feat. It is impossible to determine the speed at which Apple will move Mac to ARM, but for everyday users, the transition will likely be invisible.
Today's ARM chipsets can already handle most tasks an average user performs, and not having compatibility with Windows shouldn’t be an issue in a world where most data is in the cloud anyway. We do not know what kind of performance an Apple-designed “desktop-class” ARM chipset will produce, but it may be a few generations before the Mac Pro can kick Intel entirely. Lesser Macs meant for consumers and professionals who are not mapping star systems or making a Pixar movie will likely be just fine with ARM.
Apple tends to be obsessive about consistency across a platform. It is hard to imagine Apple having their entire product line from iPod to iMac running on ARM and having one single Mac on Intel. This would lead to software compatibility issues and development forks in professional-grade tools.
Even with the entire line shifting to ARM, leaving the Mac Pro as is during the transition will work fine. When you do see a Mac Pro with Apple ARM inside, expect macOS to deprecate Intel Macs soon after.
Unless you are a professional who needs to run Windows and macOS on the same machine, or have very specific software that won't update to the new ARM architecture for a few years, you won't even notice this is happening. The biggest change for more casual users will be the lockdown of compatible software.
All of the software a user downloads from the web assumes they are working on a Mac or PC running Intel. This means when you buy an ARM Mac, you will not be downloading any of that software, which might be frustrating for users. iPad and iPhone cannot download apps from the web, and the same could easily occur for the ARM Mac.
Since macOS has a bit more control over software installation, Apple will likely enable settings for users to install compatible applications from the web. It will be up to third-party developers to make their software compatible, however, and could mean a minimal third-party software for some time after launch.
If Apple is serious about an ARM transition, it will have to be behind developers all the way, and incentivize them to develop apps quickly.
If Apple restricts Mac software to the Mac App Store or makes it very hard to install from anywhere else, developers will need to offer their apps through official Apple channels. Otherwise, Apple could alienate popular developers and thus lose customers to Windows because of a lack of compatible software.
Another issue that is easily solved with licensing is Thunderbolt. Intel owns the rights to Thunderbolt and includes the necessary I/O for the ports in the Intel chipsets. Unless Apple comes up with its own version of Thunderbolt without violating patents, Apple will likely still be in business with Intel in some capacity.
Rumors point to the fall of 2020 for the first ARM Mac. The now-defunct 12-inch MacBook would make the perfect candidate for the first Mac with Apple ARM inside. Some speculate a return to the “iBook” branding for such a device since it would essentially be a MacBook running on iPad chipsets.
Reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests a spring 2021 launch is more likely, repeatedly. Whichever is true, WWDC 2020 is the last chance for Apple to talk directly to developers about such a transition before it occurs, if it occurs before next year's WWDC.
To complicate things even further, WWDC will be held remotely via the internet in 2020 amid coronavirus concerns, making the transition announcement somewhat cumbersome as no developers will be physically present.
A developer transition kit is needed, and software too, because the hardware cannot launch without any software. It is likely that an official announcement from Apple is not far off. One Twitter leaker suggests there is a 12-inch device in development at this moment, and another leaker has since followed up stating the 12-inch ARM MacBook could be the first such product.
Another rumor corroborated the existence of a device, suggesting an ARM Mac laptop of some kind would be seen sometime in 2021. This device would host a version of the upcoming A14 chipset that is slated for the 'iPhone 12.'
Just before WWDC, Kuo released another note stating there would be an ARM MacBook by the end of 2020, with a 24-inch ARM iMac to follow.
Did you just pick up a shiny new 13-inch MacBook Pro? Or even a 16-inch MacBook Pro, maybe a MacBook Air, perhaps an iMac? No matter your Mac of choice, there are some Mac apps out there that are just so good that they should be one of the first apps that you download and install on your new machine right away! Here are our favorites.
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Dropbox is a cloud storage service that lets you easily backup important documents, files, photos, video, and other things. While your stuff is stored in Dropbox, you can access it across any other device, as long as you're logged in to the same account. Any changes to your files get saved automatically, though you can also check older versions on the web interface if needed. Everything you upload into Dropbox is encrypted, and there are also collaborative features that make it easy to share files with others. One thing I absolutely love about Dropbox is how it integrates with pretty much any other app I need, so my stuff is accessible from anywhere and in anything.
A free account gives you 2GB for free (and the chance to get more space with referrals), but they have plans that start at around $11.99 for 2TB.
Online backup for all of your files, with integrations in almost every app.
I'm on Twitter pretty much all day, every day. My app of choice is Tweetbot from Tapbots. The reason I use Tweetbot over every other Twitter app is because I love the interface, as it's easy to use, and it provides plenty of powerful features. You can quickly search for topics that interest you, filter and mute hashtags and people that are annoying you temporarily (or permanently, it's up to you), create lists, and there is support for a multi-column view. I've been using Tweetbot on my iOS and Mac devices for years â€” there's no other app that I would rather use. Plus, you don't see promoted ad tweets.
Tweetbot has plenty of powerful features that make it the best Twitter app on Mac.
While I use Safari as my default browser on my Mac, it's always good to have an alternative, especially since some things don't always work properly in Safari. For my alternative, I use Google Chrome. It syncs with your Google account, has numerous plugins and extensions to enhance the browser experience, and it works better with certain Google apps than Safari, like Meet.
Chrome is a great alternative browser that syncs with your Google account and has a ton of plugins and extensions.
I have a lot going on daily, so my schedule gets really hectic at times. That's why I need a calendar, and I continue to use Fantastical on my Mac. Fantastical has a beautiful interface that is easy to use, and you have several different views on how to look at your calendar. It integrates with your iCloud, Google, Exchange, or even local calendar, so any changes are saved and sync automatically. The agenda list view is a great way to see what's coming up in your schedule, and it's easy to create events with the natural language input support. Fantastical also integrates with Reminders, so you have your calendar and tasks in one place.
Fantastical provides a beautiful interface for your schedule, and natural language input makes it easy to schedule events and reminders.
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself online is to have secure passwords. For this, you're going to want a good password manager, which can track your passwords and other sensitive data, while also helping you generate randomized passwords to use. With 1Password, you can create different vaults for personal and work accounts (or whatever else you need), sync your data across multiple devices (it's available on everything), and even store things like bank info, credit card numbers, and other things that need extra security. 1Password encrypts everything so that it's safe, and you can't even get in without a master password. I've been using 1Password for years, and it's one app that I cannot live without.
Generate safe and secure randomized passwords, track all of your passwords and other sensitive data, and sync everything on all of your devices.
Need to do a bit of hard drive cleanup? DaisyDisk is a must have. This app lets you easily see what is cluttering up your hard drive thanks to bright and colorful blocks, so you can see what's taking up the most space. You can delete stuff directly from DaisyDisk to free up space, and it's all done in an intuitive interface that's a joy to use. Decluttering has never been prettier.
DaisyDisk lets you easily visualize what's on your hard drive, and you can delete useless files directly through DaisyDisk's intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
Once you start installing a lot of apps, you may find your Menubar cluttered with a bunch of icons. Bartender is an app that helps you tidy up that Menubar by tucking away unwanted icons into a kind of sub-Menubar. With Bartender, you can choose to rearrange your icons into an order that makes more sense to you, as well as choosing what is shown in the main Menubar, and what to hide in a secondary Menubar. Or, you can hide some items completely, because they're unnecessary â€” it's up to you.
Tidy up your Menubar by rearranging and hiding app's Menubar icons as you see fit.
The Spotlight Search in macOS is alright, but you can do so much more with Alfred. Alfred is essentially Spotlight on steroids. You can do your basic search functionality, but you can also create workflows to make your life easier, access your clipboard history at anytime, view contact info, have app integrations, text expansion, search the web, and more.
Boost your productivity like never before with Alfred and it's many magical wonders with the keyboard.
Source: Pixelmator Team
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Whether you're an amateur or professional, you may end up having to do some photo editing at some point. Pixelmator Pro is one of our favorite apps to get the job done. It's a powerful photo editor that will have all of the tools you need, but it's intuitive and easy to use, unlike Photoshop, which some may find intimidating. With Pixelmator Pro, you have many professional and non-destructive editing tools, allowing you to bring the best out of your photographs. And the image editing is enhanced by Pixelmator's machine learning, so you get the absolute best looking photos with ease. Plus, the price is reasonable and affordable.
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Source: Bare Bones Software, Inc.
If you're looking for a professional text, code, and markup editor, then you should download BBEdit. It's used often by web application developers, writers, and software developers who need powerful tools for editing, searching, and manipulation of text, code, and HTML/XML markup. Some features of BBEdit include grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files, project definition tools, function navigation and syntax coloring for a wide variety of source code languages, code folding, and more.
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Unsure if BBEdit is what you're looking for? The app has a 30-day trial for you to put the app through its paces, and then you can decide whether or not to purchase the full package, which has even more advanced features. But you can continue to use the free version of BBEdit too.
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BBEdit is one of the best go-to apps out there for text, code, and markup editing.
What are your favorite apps?
These are just a few of our favorite must-have apps for a new Mac. Do you have any recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments!
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