Embracing Apple Silicon

After I ordered my new MacBook Air on November 11th, 2020 it took some time for the device to reach me. As I went with the 8-core-machine…

Embracing Apple Silicon

After I ordered my new MacBook Air on November 11th, 2020 it took some time for the device to reach me. As I went with the 8-core-machine and 512 GB / 16 GB RAM, I already expected a certain delay and shortly before Christmas (December 22th), the successor to my 2017 MacBook Pro reached me.

The story so far — I am still astonished after nearly one month with the new baby: The transition to Apple Silicon went smoothly (especially when looking at Microsoft’s ARM-adoption with the Surface Pro X) and most of the apps I use were available as an universal binary straight from the beginning. Mentioning Microsoft here once again, they did a great job with putting the M365-apps in the front row with the new M1-SoC!

Those apps which haven’t been updated yet and still are Intel-binaries don’t cause noticeably lags as Apple’s emulation engine “Rosetta 2” does its job clearly better than its predecessor that helped to migrate us from the PowerPC to Intel-platform in the first decade of the 2000s. In fact, I never had the feeling as if something was emulated at all which is, compared to the Power-PC-to-Intel-switch — not that uncommon indeed: Emulating PowerPC-code on the new Intel-macs years ago felt exactly this way — running some kind of emulation with the well-known delays. Besides, many developers already did their homework in no time with publishing universal binaries which can run natively on Apple Silicon AND Intel-Macs!

Although the MacBook Air is a (fanless) beast I still have two things to complain: First, the lacking support for two external monitors (why, Apple, why?) that even seven-year old Intel-machines accomplish and the — still — semi-professional FaceTime-webcam. The second aspect may be wiped away by solutions like Camo , the first aspect is still something that makes me angry as it’s definitely the wrong compromise. Apple will surely fix this with new models (maybe the M1X?) but there is not much hope that a firmware update may fix this for the current line-up.

Apple Silicon is finally here — Photo Credits: Apple

After all, the transition to Apple Silicon and the first two models of notebooks as well as the Mac mini (which, strangely, supports two external displays via Thunderbolt and HDMI) is the “one more thing” we waited for so long: A great transition with a small grain of salt and even despite of this, I like to embrace Apple Silicon and the successful switch!