Bien sûr.

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Well, hey, okay, to follow up on what I wrote yesterday, yes, Apple did indeed announce a transition away from Intel chips to Apple’s own design of chips that use that 64 bit ARM architecture I went on about yesterday.

They announced all this in a slickly-produced video set in and around Apple’s pretty empty at the moment spaceship campus, Apple Park. At the end of the presentation was a long list of “Health & Safety” credits, the new “no animals were harmed in the filming of this episode.”

But hey, new architecture! Big transition!

Are there new machines we can buy today? Um, no, check back toward the end of the year. Will the transition be easy for developers and for the most part invisible to consumers? Apple says indeed. How long will it take until they no longer sell any Intel chip machines? About two years. Right now if you’re a for-real developer you can apply to pay $500 to get what looks like a rental Mac Mini with the same system on a chip that powers the current iPad Pro inside, so you experience the new system and write your code and debug it appropriately. This is similar to the developers’ program they had when they went from PowerPC to Intel.

There will be a new version of MacOS this year, just like last year’s release of the (somewhat derided and problematical) MacOS Catalina.

This one will be called MacOS Big Sur. Big Sur! Also it’s MacOS 11.0 after a seemingly endless stream of Mac OS 10.something releases.

Thanks Apple, for a distraction from the troubling world around us. Good luck with those new SoCs.