Things are getting interesting in the world of Apple for Mac users

Well it appears the rumour of a ARM based Mac is building up steam particularly with the improvements in the area of performance per watt is become few and far between with Apple keen not only to have laptops with all day battery life but also workstations and desktops that aren’t at the mercy of schedules that result in their products lagging behind the competition especially regarding Xeon’s improvements being modest at best over the last few years. One thing to keep in mind with the Apple ARM is the it is very much possible for Apple to do what Intel has done which is to have the same basic core and build up just as they’ve got a core design that is being used on the iPhone then it is scaled up for the iPad, scaled down when it comes to the watch and tweaked when it comes to the Apple TV and Home Pod. In the case of the iMac 21”, MacBook Pro 13” and MacBook Ultrabook and maybe even the Mac mini I could imagine Apple scaling up their CPU design and their integrated GPU where as with the MacBook Pro 15”, iMac 27” and Mac Pro could use the AMD GPU as they do today. Then add on top of that the much rumoured work that Apple were doing on building their own modem which would also include wifi and bluetooth capabilities and I’m sure as they move away from third party designs to in house designs it should mean a common set of components shared across all their devices which will hopefully mean it being easier for Apple to support a limit set of hardware support without the architectural differences causing issues.

WWDC will be coming up in June so it’ll be interesting to see what they mean when one runs a 32bit application on macOS and receive the following message ( link )

Macos high sierra 32 bit app alert

And the message sent out to developers regarding the 32 bit developers and end users is this:

At our Worldwide Developers Conference in 2017, Apple informed developers that macOS High Sierra would be the last version of macOS to run 32-bit apps without compromise.

Which leaves a lot of unanswered questions especially in regards to what they mean by ‘without compromise’? Are we talking about 32 bit applications that are pure Cocoa based applications and if you rely on Carbon frameworks then your application is incompatible? It seems rather nebulous the description they give – I assume they’ll go into more details at WWDC but it isn’t going to be an easy road especially given all the 32 bit games in the App Store not to mention Apple is still lagging behind with upgrading their own software portfolio to 64 bit so lets hope that with the release of 10.14 that we’ll see Apple remove the last bit of legacy code from macOS whilst also filling in the last gaps in AV Foundation and AV Kit particularly around plugins for third parties, being able to invoke a seperate process for backwards compatibility with 32 bit CODECs however if you’re uising modern CODECs then hopefully that’ll mean a pure 64 bit Metal powered compression experience (of particular importance given the complex nature of HEVC when compared to h264). With all that being said, Apple is also working with Alliance for Open Media on the successor to VP9 which is AV1 which will be 100% royalty free along with the existing Opus audio support (no support yet for mainstream container formats other than .caf which is build into the operating system itself.

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