Apple today announced that it is finally making the transition from Intel to custom ARM-based chips for the Mac hardware, marking the dawn of a new era. The transition begins at the end of 2020 and will take two years to complete. While the plan is ambitious, app and software compatibility is the biggest question mark, and Apple is ready to tackle it.
The company is launching a Universal App Quick Start Program to help developers begin moving their apps to the new platform. With that in mind, Apple will start shipping a Developer Transition Kit starting this week. It includes a new Mac mini enclosure powered by the A12Z Bionic chip alongside 16GB RAM and 512GB storage.
In addition to the test kit, Apple will also provide documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur, and Xcode 12 to help developers build and test their Universal 2 apps. Apple says that using Universal 2 binaries, developers can create apps that support both Intel and custom silicon-based Macs of the future.
During the WWDC20 livestream, Apple revealed that it is working with Microsoft and Adobe to port the Office apps and Adobe Creative Cloud solutions respectively for Macs based on the new processors. We even saw a live demo of Final Cut Pro X performing some heavy-duty tasks on a Mac powered by the A12Z Bionic chip.