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Issue 19.1

FEATURE

Moving to Apple Silicon

Experimenting with Apple Silicon and Xojo

Issue: 19.1 (January/February 2021)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer, but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 20,526
Starting Page Number: 16
Article Number: 19103
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

When Apple first announced the switch to "Apple Silicon" for their processors in new computers last summer, I was intrigued. In so many ways it was predictable and inevitable, yet it still seemed exciting and revolutionary. But back then we only had a vague idea of the specifics. The devil, as they say, is in the details, and those were not given.

Just what would these new machines look like? How fast would they be in real life? How compatible would the "Rosetta 2" Intel translation be? What would these new machines cost? There were so many questions and few answers.

My expectations were muted. Sure, the new machines would be a little faster than Intel, but probably not enough to make a difference in real work. Battery life would be very good—maybe double—but then with Covid forcing people to work from home, are we really that far from power outlets these days?

I anticipated compatibility issues. Not many and perhaps not too dramatic, but there would be a few key pieces of software that wouldn't work, some buggy power user software that people like us developers depend on, and maybe some missing elements that would make upgrading not an option for many.

Apple said their path to Apple Silicon would be a two-year journey and I interpreted that to mean it would take that long to get everything working smoothly and for regular people to want to buy these new machines. In the beginning, it would just be us early adopters and developers who would need Apple Silicon Macs.

Then, in early November, Apple released the first actual machines—far different from the "test kit" developers could rent last summer—and now the answers were coming.

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