WWDC 20: Mac Goes ARM

Popups for incoming calls, another huge improvement that should have been fixed years ago. And Android has had it forever.

Edit: “Set default email and browser apps”. FINALLY.

How vital to Apple are the hard-core, high-tech, creative/engineering type customers any more, though? I really do not know, I’m not trying to be snide or anything. What I see a lot of is people committed to Apple for what amounts to a mix of cultural and personal reasons, more than any technical tether. Even the artists I work with don’t universally use Macs, unlike say ten years ago.

With the runaway success of the iPhone, which is now on the verge of becoming to smartphones what Kleenex is to tissues, in the popular vernacular, maybe Apple feels it has a core group of customers who wont jump ship no matter what they do, as long as they don’t disrupt the day to day too much.

Privacy changes. You can grant only approximate geolocation, which is great. And more importantly, apps need to ask your permission for ad tracking!

And moving to IoT, Apple, Amazon, and Google are working together on an interoperable standard-- that is huge. And HomeKit is now open-source.

Privacy and digital decluttering are starting to go hand in hand. While not an Apple product – and in fact, recently in a tiff with Apple – the hey.com email seems like the first real attempt to change the way we work with email that has come along in years. It’s compelling to try, but switching an email address is such a pain.

For me to pay a $99/year email subscription, they would need to offer something extremely special. I can’t imagine what that would be, it’s difficult to imagine any scenario where I would pay that.

Very few MacOS changes leaked other than the updated iMessages, and it seems like that’s because there were no real changes, other than completely redesigning the UI to subtly look much more like iOS.

Hmmm, somewhat underwhelming so far. “We’re going to be more like Android, but safer” is my main takeaway.

I’m concerned that the ARM demo was not really a live demo. But my hat is off to all of you first adopters when these computers are actually produced!

Ooh, running iOS apps natively on the new ARM macs with no changes. That’s pretty cool.

I didn’t see it. Can you finally have installed apps that don’t live on the home screen? Accessed via an alphabetical list? How about moving icons wherever you want and not forcing them to auto align top to bottom?

You can hide entire pages from the homescreen, and apps from those pages show up in the new app library on the page after the standard homescreen. I don’t believe you can position apps whereever you want leaving spaces though.

Developer account site is down pending the new update. I’m waiting to sign up for an A12K Mac mini developer transition kit.

This is already a thing isn’t it?

Oddly, no Phil.

I gotta say it’s been a lot of fun watching/listening to everyone speculate about this.

The Universal App Quick Start Program with the DTK (edit: now returning a 401) is up, and the application page is unresponsive so far. I imagine it’s getting hammered.


Finally got a response from the application page, and it was this:

Lots of places will provide Macbooks to developers, and it’s been popular with web developers for a good while now. But being Intel made that possible to begin with; with ARM, considering how most of the cloud nowadays is Intel or Intel-compatible, things get a lot trickier.

On the audio side, things could get tricky too. Not every VST will be recompiled for ARM, though I suppose all the major ones will. But multi-platform development of such software could become trickier too.

And games… Apple phased OpenGL out in favor of Metal. Now moving from Intel to ARM means that developers will have to target not one porting problem, but two, when porting to Mac.

I can’t see Apple coming out on top on any of those areas with this move. It feels like the kind of stubborn arrogance that kills companies that think way too much of themselves.

If you think about it as a lateral move/combination from iPadOS / iOS app to macOS app, it makes more sense – mingling one ecosystem with another.

When Steve Jobs once said “that sounds like an opportunity for the competition”, about the potential lack of companies willing transition to MacOS X, there was a fair bit of hubris involved. This time you could say the same thing, with much less hubris involved. There’s a TON of iPadOS and iOS developers.

Now that Macs will run iOS apps directly, without any changes at all, I expect a lot of crossover. I can imagine that being immediately convenient.

It is a good move for certain kinds of users. Not so much for others like the ones I mentioned above.