It’s that time of the year again for Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference but, due to ongoing safety precautions for Covid-19, the event, for the first time ever, was virtually hosted.
And one of the biggest, if not the biggest, reveals Apple made during WWDC 2020 was the transition from having Intel-powered Macs to its own family of custom processors, Apple silicon.
A move like this hasn’t been made since Apple transitioned from PowerPC to Intel. The decision to power future Macs with the company’s own custom processors means that it will be able to “establish a common architecture across all Apple products.” This, in turn, will make it easier for developers to optimize their apps across Apple’s platforms.
Found on other Apple devices like the iPhone or Apple Watch, the company has long been developing and refining their SoCs. The research and development produced a scalable architecture widely available on Apple’s current devices and, soon, on Macs.
With developers in mind, Apple launches the Universal App Quick Start program to provide access to a library of resources including documentation, forums, support, as well as Xcode 12 and beta versions of Apple’s newest OS, Big Sur. They are also allowing the limited use of a Developer Transition Kit which is a development system based on Apple’s A12Z Bionic SoC.
“From the beginning, the Mac has always embraced big changes to stay at the forefront of personal computing. Today we’re announcing our transition to Apple silicon, making this a historic day for the Mac,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO says in a press release. “With its powerful features and industry-leading performance, Apple silicon will make the Mac stronger and more capable than ever. I’ve never been more excited about the future of the Mac.”
Mentioned earlier, Apple’s newest OS, Big Sur, was also announced during this year’s WWDC. The company says that this update delivers the biggest update in more than a decade. It also, unsurprisingly, has been optimized to work seamlessly on the Apple silicon architecture that will be found on future devices. This means that any iOS or iPadOS app can easily be ported to Macs without any modification at all.