The Great Apple Transition

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
MacOS and Apple hardware clearly has a prevalent place in our industry. Historical reasons made it the go-to platform to use and its use and adoption still remains strong to this day - many shops, if not all Mac, at least have some Macs running something important.

Announced yesterday is the news that in two years all Macs sold will be running custom Apple ARM processors instead of Intel ones. This fundamental change in processor architecture will, eventually, require software developers to port their apps over to run on the new ARM architecture or else have them languish in some kind of performance-costing emulation mode until Apple decides to drop the feature down the line, like they did with supporting version 9 apps on version 10. And for a good long while Macs with Intel chips and Macs with Apple ARM chips will co-exist and both clamor for good software. Apple, of course, sought to ease developer's fears by promising lots of tools to help them convert their software to work on both versions.

Wonder if any of the big or small players in providing software to our industry have any thoughts on this? Do your apps already have ARM-compatible versions? Would it be hard to port over if you don't? Are you worried about performance differences between the two? Are you going to begin work early or wait until the public release to begin?

Historically some prepress and workflow software vendors have lagged behind supporting the latest operating systems from Apple on launch day, going months after public release before releasing their own compatible updates. Are we in for this same situation in the future but even worse?
 

truehue

Active member
Our Macs aren't what I would call "bleeding edge", and they never have been. They work, and that's the most important part. If we need one in the near future, I'll be looking for Mac refurbs (with Intel) before buying one of the new ARM based machines. I'm fine to let others test the waters.
 
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Puch

Well-known member
I think this move will recreate the 'ivory tower' situation where Apple was in most of the 90's. Of course the IT environment is a lot different: Windows is rock solid, too, so there is no need to stick with a Mac because of stability, ease of use etc. reasons. On the other hand, developer tools are much better today, so porting an application to both platforms shouldn't be a problem.

In the end, the consumer market will make the decision, and people generally love their Apple products. Security and battery life will be better on Apple gear, and that's two points which is very important for today's users.

IMHO Apple will cement it's position at the top of the consumer market, but will gradually fade away at the industrial places, with this move
 

SoggyWinter

Well-known member
Vendors like Caldera and Epson who use web based user interfaces won't have a problem with ARM macs. Vendors who use ancient compiled binaries who may or may not have original code or access to the original dev teams probably won't bother to update. What may be interesting is if Microsoft takes a serious stab at ARM windows once Apple's leadership makes ARM software compatibility and optimization more common like with USB peripherals 20 years ago.

I would tend to agree with other posters that getting Refurb Windows/Intel workstations is a heck of a lot less expensive than Apple hardware. I can get used quad core Dell machines tricked out with lots of RAM, Windows 10 Pro, and SSDs for around $300 used. I recently paid $1100 for a tricked out HP Z series workstation with M2 SSD and a decent GPU to run Photoshop. Comparable Macs would be a bit more expensive and be of dubvious value proposition for running Adobe products.

Apple's laptops have a good value prop because of their weight and build quality, but my team does not use laptops. The Mac Pro workstation and Apple monitors would be at the top of my list if I was kitting out a video production studio. For prepress work in a non-mobile application, I don't think Apple compute hardware is worth the price premium.
 

WiseGuy

Well-known member
With more and more applications going to the Web and mobile being as important as it is, this may be a classic Apple move that creates a lot of criticism up-front but ends up leading the way that others quickly follow. Apple's value is more than specs... its traditionally been about quality and service.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
With more and more applications going to the Web and mobile being as important as it is, this may be a classic Apple move that creates a lot of criticism up-front but ends up leading the way that others quickly follow. Apple's value is more than specs... its traditionally been about quality and service.
While I agree with you for the most part, you may want to check out a Youtube channel of a guy in New York who does repairs on various Apple devices. He's quite vocal about how Apple has incrementally degraded what can be repaired on phones and laptops.

Edit: This is becoming more prevalent each subsequent generation of their devices. I'd reckon that Apple has realized that if they cut other companies out of their product life cycle, the sky is the limit for their profits. I could see some changes in the future about resale of their devices being restricted, similar to the way Tesla operates now.

 
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kdw75

Well-known member
Some have been saying that the days of X86 are numbered. Coreteks on Youtbue has some good videos and they have discussed why AMD and Intel have a lot to fear from ARM.

This makes me think back to the days of OSX and PowerPC. It wasn't fun.
 

zevrix

Active member
require software developers to port their apps over to run on the new ARM architecture or else have them languish in some kind of performance-costing emulation mode until Apple decides to drop the feature down the line, like they did with supporting version 9 apps on version 10...
Hopefully, it will be more like creating Universal binaries during the transition from PowerPC to Intel. Apple uses the same "Universal" term this time too. For most apps, creating a Universal binary back then was pretty much an automatic process that didn't require any special efforts from developers. I don't know yet if it will be the same this time.
 

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