It’s Impossible to Overstate What a Big Deal the New Macs Are
If you’ve been in the market for a laptop at any point in the last few years, you might have noticed that new ones aren’t all that different from what you’re already used to. The speed leaps that used to come with upgrading to a new device just aren’t there anymore.
That just changed with a big announcement from Apple on Tuesday: It’s designed its own processor for Macs called the M1 chip — just like it makes them for the iPhone and iPad — and you can buy laptops with these new processors today. A move like this is unprecedented, and near impossible to pull off, but Apple made it look like a piece of cake.
The M1 processor, which powers the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13”, and an updated Mac Mini, is the first processor designed in-house at Apple. By designing the chip itself, Apple is able to tout incredible battery life of up to 20 hours, massive performance leaps, and things like on-chip machine learning optimization that competitors will find difficult to match.
The amount of risk and investment that goes into switching to processor architecture should not be understated.
It has other benefits, too: iOS and iPadOS apps will work on the Mac for the first time, allowing users to tap into the millions of apps in the App Store that haven’t made their way to the desktop yet. That will greatly, and immediately, expand the unique software the Mac supports, adding games like Among Us, which wasn’t previously available on Mac.
For the last decade, when you bought a computer it was likely to have a processor from just one of two companies: Intel or AMD. That meant Apple, Microsoft, Huawei, and everyone else building a computer relied on these same two companies to supply the “brains” of their devices.
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