John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:
[…] The ARM revolution for notebook PCs is coming, whether Apple is ready or not.
(I think they’re ready.)
We all know John likes to slyly pass on insider tidbits from time to time. Is this one of those? Are ARM Macs coming this year, or do we still have a way to go? Either way, I’m really curious how an A-series chip will perform in a larger form factor, without all the thermal and power constraints of an iPad or iPhone.
Steven Troughton-Smith, on High Caffeine Content:
Of course, the specter of macOS on ARM has been in the public psyche for many years now, and many have pondered whether Bitcode will make this transition more straightforward. The commonly held belief is that Bitcode is not suited to massive architectural changes like moving between Intel and ARM.
I was unconvinced, so I decided to test the theory!
Of course he did. Since this is Steve, the results are predictable.
That was easy!
This means, in theory, that if Apple wanted every iOS app on the App Store to run on the Mac, today or in the future, they have a mechanism to do so transparently and without needing developers to update or recompile their apps.
Intel has disclosed vulnerabilities called Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) that apply to desktop and notebook computers with Intel CPUs, including all modern Mac computers.
Although there are no known exploits affecting customers at the time of this writing, customers who believe their computer is at heightened risk of attack can use the Terminal app to enable an additional CPU instruction and disable hyper-threading processing technology, which provides full protection from these security issues.
This option is available for macOS Mojave, High Sierra and Sierra and may have a significant impact on the performance of your computer […]
Testing conducted by Apple in May 2019 showed as much as a 40 percent reduction in performance […]
You probably don’t need to enable these mitigations unless you’re a secret agent but I’m pretty sure this is really helping push the transition from Intel to ARM inside Apple.
Ian King, writing for Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. is planning to use its own chips in Mac computers beginning as early as 2020, replacing processors from Intel Corp., according to people familiar with the plans.
The initiative, code named Kalamata, is still in the early developmental stages, but comes as part of a larger strategy to make all of Apple’s devices — including Macs, iPhones, and iPads — work more similarly and seamlessly together, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The project, which executives have approved, will likely result in a multi-step transition.
Tech pundits have been discussing this idea for years now, but the more I think about it, the more questions I find in need of answers. Will iOS move to notebook and desktop-type devices, and will it start adapting well-known macOS features at a faster pace? Will macOS remain largely unchanged? Does this signal some sort of merging of the two platforms? What would the scope of that be? How does Marzipan play into all of this and is it just a stop-gap before we get a new ‘AppleOS’?
This is one of the few times where I would love to learn exactly what Apple is planning beforehand, because there are so many different routes they can take.