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  • - Apple announced that it's going to start

  • making its own custom-designed chips

  • for the Mac at WWDC 2020.

  • - Were announcing that the Mac is transitioning

  • to our own Apple Silicon.

  • - It's only the second time ever

  • that Apple's made a shift like this.

  • The last one was when it shifts from PowerPC chips

  • to Intel chips in 2005, and it was a big change.

  • It made Macs more like PCs,

  • so much so that those Macs could even run Windows.

  • But this change is very different,

  • and it's gonna make your Macs a whole lot more

  • like an iPhone instead.

  • Apple may be new to making Mac chips,

  • but it's actually been making processors

  • for a really long time.

  • It's actually one of the biggest advantages

  • to Apple's process.

  • Ever since the iPhone 4 and the iPad a decade ago,

  • Apple makes the software, Apple makes the hardware

  • and Apple makes the chips that it all runs on.

  • Every part of the process is under Apple's control,

  • and now Apple's potentially poised

  • to bring those same benefits to the Mac.

  • Apple's complete control over its devices

  • is why your iPhone can get updates

  • years after Android manufacturers have given up on support,

  • or why your iPhone can feel so snappy

  • even though it has far less RAM and system resources

  • than an Android flagship.

  • Apple gets to custom design its chips

  • for each of its devices instead of relying

  • on the same Snapdragon processor

  • that every other flagship's using.

  • Compare it to something like the Google Pixel

  • and the benefits of Apple's approach are clear.

  • Google makes Android, and it can do incredible things

  • on the software side like the amazing AI camera stuff,

  • but it's struggled for years

  • just getting the hardware right.

  • Or look at Samsung, which is an expert at hardware design,

  • but it's struggled with software

  • and its weird Android add-ons for years.

  • One analyst even estimates that Apple

  • spends four times as much on built-to-order parts

  • for its iPhones than it did just five years ago.

  • In other words, today's iPhones

  • are more uniquely Apple than ever before.

  • The switch to ARM, which the company refers to

  • as Apple Silicon, marks the third

  • major platform shift for the Mac.

  • The last one was in 2005 when Apple switched to Intel chips,

  • which then-CEO Steve Jobs explained at the time

  • as being for a very simple reason.

  • - We are gonna begin the transition

  • from the PowerPC to Intel processors.

  • Why are we gonna do this?

  • Because we wanna be making the best computers

  • for our customer looking forward.

  • - PowerPC just couldn't keep up with Apple's ambitions

  • of smaller, faster and longer-lasting computers.

  • It's easy to see the impact that those Intel chips brought:

  • new designs like the MacBook, the MacBook Pro

  • and the ultrathin MacBook Air,

  • which have come to define a generation of laptops

  • over the last 15 years.

  • And the switch to ARM promises

  • even better power consumption than Intel,

  • which means that we could have a similar jump forward

  • for even thinner and lighter designs

  • with better battery life than ever before.

  • There are other benefits too.

  • Apple won't have to rely on Intel's roadmap

  • for new chip designs, something that's seen delays

  • that have slowed down the entire computing world

  • over the past few years.

  • And by not having to rely on a third party for chips,

  • Apple can cut down on its costs for those processors

  • by up to 40-60%, although knowing Apple,

  • I wouldn't get your hopes up that you'll see those savings

  • passed on to the price of your next Mac.

  • While all that sounds great,

  • there's still a big elephant in the room

  • when it comes to the ARM transition:

  • how fast are Apple's ARM chips actually gonna be?

  • And the answer's unfortunately: we don't know.

  • Apple's made some big promises here,

  • claiming that its chips will offer better performance

  • and lower power consumption than Intel's,

  • across both desktops and laptops.

  • And there are rumors of a 12-core chip in the works

  • that would be vastly more powerful

  • than Apple's best chip right now,

  • the A12Z, which powers both the iPad Pro

  • and Apple's own original ARM developer kits.

  • But Apple makes a lot of different types of Macs,

  • and ARM computing is a relatively new field

  • when it comes to building desktops and laptop computers.

  • The most powerful devices we've seen

  • are tablets like the iPad Pro

  • or early laptops like the Galaxy Book S

  • or Microsoft's Surface X.

  • No one's actually made even a high-powered laptop

  • powered by ARM chips, to say nothing of desktops

  • like the iMac or a full-fledged professional device

  • like a MacBook Pro or the Mac Pro.

  • There's also the issue of software.

  • A new platform means that developers

  • are gonna have to port their apps over

  • or rely on Apple's Rosetta emulation software,

  • and much like that Intel transition in 2005,

  • things are probably gonna be rocky for a bit.

  • A lot of these questions are still unanswered.

  • We don't know how well Rosetta 2 is going to work

  • and some developers might just not port their apps at all.

  • You only need to look at the Surface X

  • to see that transitioning from x86 to ARM

  • can lead to big issues with app support.

  • I'll let Dieter explain more about that.

  • - (sighs) So let's talk about apps.

  • So the apps that run best on the SQ1

  • are the ones that have been compiled to ARM64.

  • That means they're 64 bit and that they've been designed

  • to run on this chip.

  • Those apps are fast and they don't

  • hurt your battery life much,

  • and they are pretty rare, actually.

  • There are a bunch of Windows apps,

  • and especially the newest and most powerful Windows apps,

  • that are 64 bit but designed to work for x86 and not ARM,

  • and they don't run at all.

  • I'm also talking about games.

  • Games are a full-on nonstarter.

  • I don't mean that they're slow.

  • I mean they literally don't start.

  • So here's a game that I love, it's called "Into the Breach,"

  • and it's a disaster.

  • What is happening on the screen here?

  • Well, okay. You can play "Angry Birds 2".

  • Woo!

  • See, everybody has that one app that they need,

  • and mine's Lightroom, and you have to do a ton of research

  • to figure out if your app actually works on this computer.

  • There's no list that you can just go look it up on.

  • I will give Microsoft some credit

  • for making an ARM machine that's fast enough

  • and that runs real Windows 10 instead of RT

  • or Windows S or whatever.

  • And again, this is one of the best-looking computers around.

  • But the apps are not ready yet.

  • - With all that uncertainty,

  • there are a couple of good signs though.

  • Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president

  • of software engineering, says that he expects

  • that most developers will be able to get their apps

  • up and running within a couple of days.

  • And during the keynote, Apple demoed several key apps

  • already running on ARM.

  • - So of course, when we updated our apps for Big Sur,

  • we built everything as native for Apple Silicon.

  • Some of the biggest Mac developers

  • have already gotten started.

  • Let's take a look at Word.

  • And PowerPoint.

  • Here's Lightroom running native on Apple Silicon.

  • Here's a five-gigabyte Photoshop file.

  • Final Cut Pro.

  • Here it is running on Apple Silicon for the first time.

  • - Plus, Apple has a major ace up its sleeve

  • that neither the 2005 Intel transition or Microsoft had:

  • the iPhone.

  • Developers have been building iPhone

  • and iPad apps for years,

  • and all of those apps will run natively

  • on the ARM Macs on day one,

  • which means that Apple will have a huge back catalog

  • of apps ready to go from the start

  • and tons of developers that are already experienced

  • at writing software for Apple's devices that run on ARM.

  • - That means that there's millions of applications

  • that are gonna be available for these machines

  • that were never available before.

  • - [Chaim] That's Mark Bessey,

  • a former software engineer at Apple.

  • He's been developing Mac software for years,

  • and actually worked on the original

  • PowerPC-to-Intel transition back in 2005.

  • - From the transition standpoint,

  • that's actually good new, right?

  • If I have an app that I depend on

  • and it doesn't get converted right away,

  • but they also have an iOS version of the same app

  • then I'm okay, right?

  • It may not be the best experience, but it's a solution.

  • - Some things won't be the same.

  • It's hard to imagine PC game manufacturers

  • porting their games over to an entirely new platform

  • when they're building their games to run on Intel.

  • But you will get tons of iPhone games.

  • And similarly, Boot Camp,

  • to let you run Windows on your Mac,

  • is totally out the window,

  • at least based on what Apple and Microsoft have said so far.

  • But we'll also probably start to see

  • new and different types of apps,

  • apps that are more suited to the new platform,

  • and coincidentally look a whole lot more

  • like iPhone and iPad apps than ever before.

  • We've already started to see this transition

  • with last year's introduction of Catalyst apps,

  • which allowed developers to combine elements

  • of their iPad and iPhone apps into Mac apps.

  • - And I think for developers,

  • it also makes the Catalyst solution

  • kind of a really compelling idea, right?

  • Like oh, yeah, we have these two code bases,

  • one for iOS and one for Mac,

  • but really they're about 90% the same,

  • and maybe we just build one app

  • and we add just enough Mac-like stuff to the iPad version,

  • so it has menus and separate windows

  • and supports full screen mode and all of that,

  • and then we just have one code base.

  • To me, the transition to ARM means that the Mac

  • is actually a much safer bet now,

  • and it's probably more likely that people

  • will make Mac applications than it has been

  • in at least the last five years.

  • - And we're only gonna see more of that as time goes on,

  • apps that blur the line between Mac app and iPad app

  • as the two platforms come closer and closer

  • and closer together over time.

  • So between the new ARM chips and the new software changes

  • that are coming with macOS 11, Big Sur,

  • it's an exciting time for the future of the Mac,

  • one that will likely see Apple's laptops and desktops

  • start to look more like its mobile devices than ever before.

  • And who knows, the changes might not just stop

  • at chips and software.

  • We could start to see some of the hardware innovations

  • from those mobile devices start to make their way

  • over to computers, too.

  • I'm talking about a touchscreen Mac,

  • and with all the other major changes coming to the Mac,

  • anything's possible.

  • Thanks so much for watching.