To paraphrase James Carville: “It’s the apps, stupid!”
MacOS developers are being pushed hard to adopt these new technologies and leave the old ways behind.
The two-year transition to ARM includes two updates to macOS as long as the traditional release schedule is maintained. Big Sur is the first version with a version 11.1 in 2021 and a version 11.2 in 2022 – from then on, every new Mac is expected to ship with Apple’s own ARM processors.
What if Apple removes backward compatibility in 11.1? Assuming that the first ARM machines were backwards compatible as much as possible from the start, there is no guarantee that this will continue in the future. I expect Apple to let developers know that it will quickly pull up the ladder
Why? Developers should move quickly to ARM development. It wants ported apps to run natively on macOS on ARM as soon as possible, which gives users a smoother experience and longer battery life. A developer ecosystem with (mostly) one-time writing should be created in three steps. Places (iOS, iPadOS and macOS) where everything and everyone stays in Apple’s own cloud.
Tim Cook’s team has shown this ruthlessness before. Just last year, support for 32-bit applications on macOS was removed in Catalina. Although the upfront removal was largely due to developers, it resulted in an interruption for users who had to deal with legacy apps that were no longer running, to no suitable alternatives to those apps or to a forced switch from purchased software Software subscription services.
In essence, Apple says to developers, “If you want to stay in our world, you have to evolve and adapt the way you work to our strict vision.”
Questions remain as to what this would mean for existing Mac owners with Intel-based hardware. Answering these questions would reassure many existing and potential owners of long term support for their Mac machines.
The announced two year window for upgrading the Mac lineup from Intel to ARM is not only fast but also aggressive. Other than remanufactured machines and support required to meet warranty repairs and meet consumer legal requirements, Intel is no longer available. Developers not keeping up with Apple quickly? You’re out too.
Apple enforces quick changes across the entire macOS platform by strictly interpreting upgrades, updates, and depreciation. That means giving up older technologies and mindsets. I assume most will follow. How much of it will be by choice and how much of necessity may not be as important as you may think.
The course has been set and the engines are set to full speed.
Read now for the latest information on the launch date of the new ARM-based Mac computers …
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