Looking forward to the next macOS transition?

So ARM Macs are coming and with it, I’m assuming the end of macOS applications. Otherwise why else would Apple be pushing to make iPad apps run on Intel Macs?

Because iOS Apps already run on ARM? So make them truly multi-platform iOS and Mac?

For Mac apps a new compile will be necessary, but if it is programmed properly (unlike Microsoft or Adobe that like to do their own thing) then it should run fine.

Marzipan is exciting stuff but they have been very firmly stating that they are not merging iOS/iPadOS and MacOS together.

They are normally tight lipped about the future so being so emphatic about not wanting them merged is unusual.

They will fuse the core libs, separate the UIs,

Fuchsia is basically a common core with different frameworks (sets of libs) stacked on top of it depending on the target hardware and UI. Seems the future Apple, kind of, will follow too.

I wouldn’t write macOS off just yet. I think Apple’s plan will be to add some sort of Rosetta like layer to emulate x86 on an ARM chip if your favourite x86 app hasn’t been recompiled to ARM. Hopefully they’ll just offer a simple checkbox option in Xcode to make it easier for devs to migrate.

How Xojo will transition is another matter. Geoff has said in the past that they have ARM support in the compiler already (64-bit ARM for iOS) so he doesn’t anticipate a huge headache supporting ARM Macs…

Maybe not Rosetta, but a X86 Catalyst for ARM MacOS as they did for iPadOS.

It’s funny; if you watch the videos, “merging macOS and iOS. No.”. Then if you watch the individual talks, they explain how they’re merging the macOS and iOS.

Personally I don’t trust the words that come from Apple’s VPs anymore, I trust the results of their actions. “We love the Mac”, then all notebooks have a keyboard that will die and force you to replace the entire machine to get it fixed, not to mention thermal issues from cost cutting.

Over the years they’ve already been doing this, a couple of years back I found a bug in Core Image that’d been present on iOS for 4 years before. Last time I checked, it still wasn’t fixed.

With Catalina, I discovered a fairly serious bug in Apple’s StoreKit that is present across all Apple platforms, which prevents some users from being able to purchase In-App-Purchase items.

You’re more optimistic than I. Currently my understanding of Catalyst, is a combination of UIKit for Intel and it builds the iOS app as x86 app (Xcode already builds x86 iOS apps for the simulator), but now they don’t need a simulator to run and show some Mac like controls (not all).

I asked myself why would Apple want to run iPad apps on a Mac, as a Mac developer I see almost zero benefit. Unless I wanted to build apps for two targets with very little effort, why would you want to do that, to save time and cost.

So in my opinion, Catalyst and the entire ARM transition is about cutting costs, once all their devices are using the same identical hardware, they become nothing more a singular product with different form factors. Why not use the same identical software, with just a different GUI skin?

If that truly is their goal, I don’t see them investing in creating a “transition layer” to run x86 apps, nor a layer to run macOS apps. I believe that the apps which will run on the ARM macs, will be native iPadOS apps. Catalyst is provided so that developers who create iPadOS apps, can still make apps that will run on x86 based Macs.

The other reason I see that they’re working to mitigate the macOS, is the colossal amount of bugs that are still present in 10.15.4, it’s almost as if they know the macOS isn’t long for this world and therefore would rather put their resources into the next transition than stabilize the platform.

Just my theory. Hey, if I’m wrong at least when we’re all using Catalyst, our apps will run on iPad and Mac.

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Utter rubbish, they have a keyboard replacement program for this, I had my MacBook Pro keyboard replaced under it. You absolutely do not have to replace the entire machine.

Apple aren’t you. They aren’t a lone Mac developer sitting at home. They are a business and the benefit this gets them is their biggest earning marketplace on millions of desktops and massively increased sales.

Yes they are looking to unify and make things simpler for everyone I think too but zero benefit? Come on.

While I thunk some Macs eventually being ARM,
I can’t see Apple moving to ARM processors for all Macs…

Being able to run Windows VMs at essentially full speed on a Mac is too valuable for a significantly sized minority of professionals I think…

When the day comes, I HOPE it’s not just not Mac Pros or iMac Pros that don’t go ARM…


The facts are:

  • Apple had the intention to design and own their own CPUs and GPUs for years. Always saying that it was just for their mobile line.
  • Also they had a, kind of, “hidden desire” (open few years ago) to dump Intel when such technologies got mature enough to make such moves possible.
  • They were virtually fusing the core of all platforms (as libs and APIs) while saying that the OS, kind of won’t change, MacOS will be MacOS, and others be others. So, to be true, it’s not really all true… or false. Separated products, same core, few different layers on top.
  • Catalina was the clean up edition, trying to remove the past incompatible code for the next move (32 bit code, Carbon, etc).
  • Catalina has been being prepared and received the first wave of “recompile and enable outsider code here” also called Catalyst.
  • They have ARM MacOS running at labs for years. Leaked info you can check, as we know things about google just observing some leaked info in the Android or Fuchsia source codes.
  • Now they have new powerful CPUs + GPUs and NPUs and new Mac line using their own processors ready for production next year.

Now the guessing part, I’ve read that they don’t intend using emulators for the next step, so I GUESS that we will see a new kind of “Catalyst” coming. MacX86 to MacARM. Some kind of check box and XCode will try to warn or fix things to run in the MacOS ARM platform. But… I also guess that MacOS for X86 will still exist and being supported for their high-end line.

In 2015 I purchased a 12" MacBook to use as a second machine. In 2016, the keyboard failed in multiple places. It took 2 weeks to repair, the receipt indicated the cost was $930 USD. This is because Apple use glue and rivets to keep the components “secure” in the top case (which is what gets replaced).
In 2019 the keyboard failed, another two weeks later and another bill for $930. I didn’t have to pay anything for these repairs because of warranty and replacement program.
Last year the cursor keys stopped working, too bad it’s out of warranty or replacement program. To “Repair” the keyboard it’s now going to cost me… $930 USD on a machine I paid $1,200 for 5 years ago.

20 years ago, when I was ACSE, replacement keyboards cost $50-$100 and took 2-10 minutes to replace. I never had to replace the keyboard on a laptop in 26 years, until 2015. Heck even the new 16" MacBook Pro includes this fundamental design “feature”, so should the keyboard fail there, it’ll cost 75% of the initial price to “repair”.

As I am member of various developer communities, I’ve been following the Catalyst discussions for some time now. To the user there is zero benefit. To the developer, that single checkbox gets you 80% of the way, but it requires the developer complete the transition using AppKit, which many iPad developers are not familiar with. On top of that, UIControls, do not always match NSControls feature for feature. Limiting the functionality that a Catalyst application can offer.

The key benefit is for Apple, no longer do they need to maintain separate versions of their apps (no longer need to retain separate teams either). Now they just deal with iPhone and iPad. Of course once we’re all iPadOS developers, we can get the benefit where one project can be used to build both macOS and iPadOS. Depending on how Xojo do this, we may even be able to build macOS, iPadOS, Windows & Linux, but we may not be able to do so.

But from a customers POV, they get slightly less functional or “Mac” like applications.

I personally do not think that this is a concern for Apple. For years now, Apple have been focusing on moving away from certain industry standards. The T2 chip actually prevents certain versions of Linux being installed via Boot camp. The ability to run Windows apps (via bootcamp or virtualization) coupled with industry leading wi-fi, battery life, performance and reliability really helped Apple back in 2012 era.

Their latest laptops, use older generation wifi, have mediocre battery life (with very few people reaching Apple’s stated numbers), throttling issues (on battery or AC), mid-range GPUs and since 2015 their reliability has declined. Even Rod himself confirms their reliability isn’t as good as it used to be, as he’s also had to have a keyboard replaced.

My guess is that the consumer Macs will make the transition earlier, given that they’ve just launched their “Mac Pro”, and history suggests that they’ll not stray from the design for 7 years.

I would be really surprised if they can keep up with the competition. It’s well known that NVIDIA cards and their Cuda compute mechanism provides far better bang for buck than the AMD cards Apple uses. I saw a comparison of a Razor Notebook that outperformed a far more expensive Mac Pro at 7:1.

I would assume that it will continue to exist for several years yet, Apple normally support a Mac for 7 years. I would imagine or maybe hope that the ARM version of iPadOS/macOS would be more stable as in theory that would be where the most resources will be allocated.

I am genuinely surprised by some of the responses here, and yeah I am angry with Apple at the moment, with the bullshit that I’ve been dragged through these last 9 months. A couple of weeks ago, I very nearly quit in a fit of tears.

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This is why right to repair is so important. People leading the movement Louis Rossmann has done an AMAZING job breaking down the invalid arguments against right to repair. Also, he does a TON of videos in fixing Apple products which is very amusing to watch and learn from.

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Now I know the guys name !
He is entertaining to watch and, fwiw, a lot of things that say “warranty void if opened” are NOT legal
see https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/businesspersons-guide-federal-warranty-law#Magnuson-Moss “Tie in Sales Provisions”
I dont know if anyone has pressed this but the law states almost explicitly that a “broken seal” cannot void the warranty - so maybe right to repair laws are not needed of this act just needs updating ?

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Here is the keyboard replacement program for your machine https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks, completely free, no need to “repack your entire machine” at all.

How is access to millions of apps you couldn’t have before zero benefit?!

Apple have never been interested in speed races. Their products sell more successfully than any other tech company, they have a loyal following which 99.99% of couldn’t care about (yes made up statistic for emphasis).

its a bit more than just a seal. Right to repair is fighting against vendors like apple preventing you from buying part to fix it yourself, or preventing you from going to manufactures of components and buying there. Not providing schema’s to the hardware, and flat outright making authorize repair nothing more than a mail in service. To show the extent, check out Louis calling authorize repair shops

I get that
We have that issue here but with John Deere tractors :slight_smile:
But its much the same
Yes in theory you “could” replace the part but you cannot even buy the part

Which is what I like about watching Louis’ videos
Often there have been simple repairs (well simple for him) where its a specific capacitor etc that he swaps on the motherboard
But, if it were some custom IC/board that he cannot repair that way I can see he’d have a hell of a time getting parts

Personally, while I might never repair a computer myself, the current set up with Apples machines seems to really be an outlier in the industry. I do wish they’d make their machines more end user upgradable and repairable.

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I see @samRowlands’ point here - I suspect many of those millions of apps will be shovelware / shoddy ports of iPad apps that aren’t suited to the macOS platform.

I echo @samRowlands’ thoughts in that I too feel that the design and build quality of Apple’s products has been declining recently. The keyboard issue was a fiasco that Apple basically never publicly admitted and have only this year (hopefully) rectified.

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There are a ton of shite MacOS apps around now too.

You can’t discount all the great quality apps because there are also bad ones.

Apple works with a “lock in” business model. They own the OS no one else can legally use in a “competitor” hardware. They enforce using their tooling and force you using their paid services (for authentication, authorization, and sales). Once you got trapped into their ecosystem, the word “competition” makes little sense. They count on it. The new ARM flavor will make they to increase their profit margin while possibly decreasing a bit prices for the less powerful lines they can produce. As I am dedicated to the Brazilian market, and Apple is nothing here compared to MS and Android, I simply decided that I’m leaving their ecosystem.

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