Commentary

Cook Says Macs Will Start Using Apple Chips By End Of Year

Apple will start using its own processing chips in all Mac computers by the end of 2020, ending its 15-year relationship with Intel within two years, CEO Tim Cook announced in his opening address at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference yesterday. The event, which last year drew about 6,000 participants to a weeklong event in San Diego, was live-streamed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The change reflects a turnabout in Silicon Valley since Steve Jobs revealed the Intel partnership in 2005. At the time, Apple was a fraction of Intel’s size and counted computers as its largest business. Now, it boasts a market value six times larger than its longtime supplier and a semiconductor division that has been designing mobile processors with performance capabilities rivaling Intel’s computer chips,” Tripp Mickle writes  for The Wall Street Journal.

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“During a digital keynote to kick off the tech giant’s first virtual conference for developers, Apple said the transition from Intel to its own processors would occur over the next two years.… The company said the chips, based on Arm Holdings technology, will improve battery life and allow for faster processing speeds and new security features,” Mickle adds.

“The biggest addition this move to ARM-powered chips brings is the ability for iOS and iPadOS apps to run natively on macOS in the future. ‘Most apps will just work,' says Apple, meaning you’ll be able to run native macOS apps alongside native iOS apps side by side for the first time,” Tom Warren reports  for The Verge.

“Apple is promising new levels of performance and far less power consumption with its move to in-house processors. Apple is designing its own range of SoC [System On a Chip] for Macs, with features unique to Mac. The common ARM-based architecture across Apple’s products should now make it easier for developers to write and optimize apps across every major Apple device,” Warren adds.

That wasn’t the only announcement at the event, which was summed up thusly by David Phelan in Forbes: “Absolutely no hardware, but a dizzying round of software updates for all the platforms. With no pauses for applause or jokes or even for people to get on and off stage it felt more full-on than ever, but the biggest announcements -- like how Apple is switching the Mac to its own silicon was strikingly done.”

You can view the whole shebang here.

“It was certainly a flashy show, with cool videos moving between the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple Park and underground laboratories. There was no shortage of information, a huge amount of enthusiasm and enough detail to make your brain spin,” Phelan adds.

Among other things, “Apple unveiled new ways to discover and organize apps” and “announced a new feature that will let users unlock their cars with their smartphones,” Kaya Yurieff writes  for CNN Business.

“The updates … highlight the company's continued effort to insert itself into seemingly every corner of our lives, from our cars and living rooms to our personal health, while also confronting the potential for app fatigue more than a decade after the App Store launched…. Apple unveiled a new feature called App Library, which automatically organizes the apps on your homescreen so you don't have to scroll through several pages,” Yurieff continues.

“The latest version of the iPhone operating system includes a big change to the iOS home screen, including the ability to set default email and browser apps for the first time,” Kif Leswing writes  for CNBC. 

“In iOS 14, users can pin widgets with updating information on the home screen, Apple said on Monday, including calendar and maps mini-programs. Previously, users could only include apps on an iPhone’s home screen. Users can drag a widget onto the iPhone home screen, where it will persist. Users can add new widgets from a gallery that shows the ones they have installed. Apple also introduced a widget that uses artificial intelligence to predict which data the user wants to see,” Leswing adds.

But wait, there’s more. 

Lori Grunin and Ian Sherr have compiled  an “Everything Apple Just Announced at WWDC” piece for CNET. It includes some forthcoming updates for the Apple Watch that fit the times on several fronts.

“Customize your Apple Watch face with multiple complications -- customizing is easier, too -- plus there are some new faces. You'll be able to share faces, as well. Your body will also appreciate the new dance routines to jazz up your workout. At the other end of the spectrum, it adds sleep tracking. With the new OS, the Watch will be able to track your hand washing as well,” they write.

Who would have predicted a year ago that keeping track of your hand washing would be a thing?

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