I just watched WWDC’s “live” 2020 keynote presentation from Apple. We knew in advance that this time, it would not have any in-person attendees, but we didn’t know it was going to be 100% pre-recorded. Ahead I’ll cover Apple’s announced timetable & transition to its own processors in Mac computers (away from Intel), the upcoming macOS Big Sur, iOS 14 & more.
This article covers the highlights and is not intended to be comprehensive.
macOS 11.0 is called Big Sur
The successor of macOS Catalina is to be called Big Sur. Its UI reminds me of the iPadOS look and feel. In fact, Big Sur has Control Center, borrowed from there. Apparently, Control Center will be in addition to System Preferences, not a replacement for it. It should be in public beta in July and the final version should be released in the fall (autumn) in the Northern Hemisphere of planet Earth.
iOS 14 and iPadOS 14
As expected, iOS 13.x and iPadOS 14.x are to be replaced by iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 respectively. They should be in public beta in July and the final version should be released in the fall (autumn) in the Northern Hemisphere of planet Earth. A new key feature for video consumption is picture-in-picture, so you can continue watching it in a smaller window when you go to another app.
Another feature is Apple’s new CarKeys, which (using NFC technology in your iPhone) unlocks and starts your car without any physical car keys. Of course, this requires a compatible motor vehicle.
Transition to Apple’s own chips: Apple Silicon
For many years, Apple has been making its own processors for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches and AppleTV boxes. This week, Apple begins the slow transition from Intel processors to Apple’s own chips. This transition is déjà vu for people who remember when Apple transitioned from PowerPC to Intel. That was announced in June 2005 and began happening in January 2006, about seven months later.
Apple explained that the uncompiled Xcode of most macOS apps can be recompiled in Universal mode (for both Intel and Apple Silicon) within “a few days”.
I am delighted to inform you that the selected special Mac computer included in the offer for developers is the Mac Mini. This is the list of included items for developers who order it this week:
- Mac Mini enclosure + A12Z SoC (the same one in the iPad Pro 2020 which I covered here)
- 12GB RAM, 512GB SSD
- macOS Big Sur developer beta + Xcode
As you may have read in my recent article Ecamm Live: computer selection for demanding matte IPS lovers who prioritize health and ergonomics, the Mac Mini is my favorite Mac since it is the only current one (other than the new Mac Pro which has a base pre-tax price of US$5999) which does not force us to use a glossy, highly reflective inboard screen. The Mac Mini gives us the freedom to choose a high-quality matte monitor.
Apple demonstrated its own apps already compiled for Apple Silicon, including Final Cut Pro X. It also showed Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint already compiled for Apple Silicon, and it did the same with Adobe Photoshop and Premiere. Then it explained how via Rosetta 2, older apps compiled only for Intel can run, since upon installation, its entire code is translated, making it more efficient than translating on the fly, as happened in the past with the original Rosetta. They showed an example of Autodesk Maya 3D software via Rosetta 2, and how fast and smooth it was even though not yet available as native or Universal for Apple Silicon.
There was no mention of DaVinci Resolve. However, I expect Blackmagic to offer universal binaries before the public release of Big Sur.
Apple says tat for the public, Mac computers with Apple Silicon should begin at the end of 2020 and be a two year process.
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