Apple - Scary or Exciting?

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DaveyG
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Post 10 Jun 2020

Big announcement from Apple:

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/06 ... wwdc-2020/

That's going to cause more than a bit of pain with legacy apps, plugins and stuff and Apple are never shy to move forwards and leave stuff behind (which is why their stuff is so good).

It's not going to happen overnight but if your living (or your hobby) depends on Apple make sure you have the hardware you need in your studio to tide you over the chaos!

Scary or Exciting? Or both? :shock:
Last edited by DaveyG on 11 Jun 2020, edited 1 time in total.

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gullum
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Post 10 Jun 2020

if USB will be supported then mostly all hardware should still work even if some hub or converter would be required to connect it. so no I' not scared, excited no won't be getting a new mac just jet so what I have now will hopefully work for me a few more years

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O1B
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Post 10 Jun 2020

“... the company's leadership wants to share the plans at WWDC if possible as a way to give Mac software developers ample time to adjust to the change, which is expected to begin with the launch of the first ARM Mac hardware in 2021.”

DaveyG
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Post 11 Jun 2020

gullum wrote:
10 Jun 2020
if USB will be supported then mostly all hardware should still work even if some hub or converter would be required to connect it. so no I' not scared, excited no won't be getting a new mac just jet so what I have now will hopefully work for me a few more years
It's not so much as whether USB is supported. It's whether the various hardware and software companies will update their products, particularly the drivers, for the new platform. Any (then) current products should be OK but any discontinued hardware might only be good for paperweights.

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gullum
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Post 11 Jun 2020

DaveyG wrote:
11 Jun 2020
gullum wrote:
10 Jun 2020
if USB will be supported then mostly all hardware should still work even if some hub or converter would be required to connect it. so no I' not scared, excited no won't be getting a new mac just jet so what I have now will hopefully work for me a few more years
It's not so much as whether USB is supported. It's whether the various hardware and software companies will update their products, particularly the drivers, for the new platform. Any (then) current products should be OK but any discontinued hardware might only be good for paperweights.
If it comes to that that reason and my hardware is no longer supported I will switch to windows when needing a new computer.

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marcuswitt
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Post 11 Jun 2020

Just to answer your question: Exciting.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 11 Jun 2020

Very exiting for Apple product users.
Not so much for Intel's bottom line.
AMD's Radeon will be next on the Apple's butcher block, as predicted.
100% Apple control of the OS and hardware now (2021), then the mega servers after.
100% of Apple products not being able to be repaired, then massively shipped to poorer countries, like in the past few years.
100% guaranteed end-of-life for all Apple products after 2021.
That's very smart from Apple.

:puf_smile: :thumbs_up:

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QVprod
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Post 11 Jun 2020

I don't think there'll be any problems. as the article said: "Bloomberg's sources clarified that the ARM Macs will continue to run macOS"

Unless they make changes in the operating system itself, I'm assuming everything should work on the new ARM chips the same way everything works fine on both Intel and Amd chips.

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tiker01
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Post 11 Jun 2020

QVprod wrote:
11 Jun 2020
I don't think there'll be any problems. as the article said: "Bloomberg's sources clarified that the ARM Macs will continue to run macOS"

Unless they make changes in the operating system itself, I'm assuming everything should work on the new ARM chips the same way everything works fine on both Intel and Amd chips.
I don't think it is that simple. However, REs can be compiled to run on ARM.
    
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fieldframe
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Post 11 Jun 2020

QVprod wrote:
11 Jun 2020
Unless they make changes in the operating system itself, I'm assuming everything should work on the new ARM chips the same way everything works fine on both Intel and Amd chips.
Intel and AMD chips are both based on the x86 architecture and instruction set. ARM is a completely different type of processor architecture, with an incompatible instruction set. The version of MacOS you're running right now wouldn't run on ARM, nor would any of your software.

Apple has undoubtedly been building MacOS on ARM for years behind the scenes, but third-party software developers have not. Simple software, like a note-taking app, will just need to be recompiled for ARM, but CPU-intensive software like DAWs will potentially need extensive re-optimization for ARM. This will be a long and expensive process, but if Mac ARM chips are as powerful as they're rumored to be, Macs will (eventually) run circles around PC systems when it comes to DSP performance.

One bright spot for Reason, though: Because of the restrictions on Rack Extension code, REs should all transfer seamlessly to the eventual ARM version of Reason. An abandoned VST will be useless on an ARM Mac, but an abandoned RE will just get recompiled on Reason Studios' servers into ARM.
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QVprod
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Post 11 Jun 2020

tiker01 wrote:
11 Jun 2020
QVprod wrote:
11 Jun 2020
I don't think there'll be any problems. as the article said: "Bloomberg's sources clarified that the ARM Macs will continue to run macOS"

Unless they make changes in the operating system itself, I'm assuming everything should work on the new ARM chips the same way everything works fine on both Intel and Amd chips.
I don't think it is that simple. However, REs can be compiled to run on ARM.
fieldframe wrote:
11 Jun 2020

Intel and AMD chips are both based on the x86 architecture and instruction set. ARM is a completely different type of processor architecture, with an incompatible instruction set. The version of MacOS you're running right now wouldn't run on ARM, nor would any of your software.

Apple has undoubtedly been building MacOS on ARM for years behind the scenes, but third-party software developers have not. Simple software, like a note-taking app, will just need to be recompiled for ARM, but CPU-intensive software like DAWs will potentially need extensive re-optimization for ARM. This will be a long and expensive process, but if Mac ARM chips are as powerful as they're rumored to be, Macs will (eventually) run circles around PC systems when it comes to DSP performance.

One bright spot for Reason, though: Because of the restrictions on Rack Extension code, REs should all transfer seamlessly to the eventual ARM version of Reason. An abandoned VST will be useless on an ARM Mac, but an abandoned RE will just get recompiled on Reason Studios' servers into ARM.
Got it. I would be curious then of what the significance of it still running Mac OS is then. If re-optimization would have to happen anyway, Does the OS being the same make any difference? Probably answering my own question, familiarity I guess?

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fieldframe
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Post 12 Jun 2020

QVprod wrote:
11 Jun 2020
Got it. I would be curious then of what the significance of it still running Mac OS is then. If re-optimization would have to happen anyway, Does the OS being the same make any difference? Probably answering my own question, familiarity I guess?
An OS may seem like a single, cohesive unit, but it's actually several layers. Here's a diagram of the MacOS stack:

Image

A switch to ARM will basically mean swapping out the bottom three layers. Things above those layers tend to be written in a C variant (or the newer Swift language) and can be rebuilt to run on ARM just by using a new ARM compiler, but there's usually some architecture-specific code in there as well that will need to be rewritten, especially for things like system libraries. It's still the same OS, just with a lot of the parts under the hood swapped out.
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QVprod
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Post 13 Jun 2020

fieldframe wrote:
12 Jun 2020
QVprod wrote:
11 Jun 2020
Got it. I would be curious then of what the significance of it still running Mac OS is then. If re-optimization would have to happen anyway, Does the OS being the same make any difference? Probably answering my own question, familiarity I guess?
An OS may seem like a single, cohesive unit, but it's actually several layers. Here's a diagram of the MacOS stack:

Image

A switch to ARM will basically mean swapping out the bottom three layers. Things above those layers tend to be written in a C variant (or the newer Swift language) and can be rebuilt to run on ARM just by using a new ARM compiler, but there's usually some architecture-specific code in there as well that will need to be rewritten, especially for things like system libraries. It's still the same OS, just with a lot of the parts under the hood swapped out.
Appreciate the breakdown

visheshl
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Post 13 Jun 2020

I think i will probably just leave all computer stuff,theyre just making all this extremely expensive, probably won't be having money in the future for hobbies like music,game production, design etc...once my setup becomes obsolete, i will stop all my music, my games, graphics etc...screw it
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Data_Shrine
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Post 16 Jun 2020

gullum wrote:
11 Jun 2020
DaveyG wrote:
11 Jun 2020


It's not so much as whether USB is supported. It's whether the various hardware and software companies will update their products, particularly the drivers, for the new platform. Any (then) current products should be OK but any discontinued hardware might only be good for paperweights.
If it comes to that that reason and my hardware is no longer supported I will switch to windows when needing a new computer.
I'm thinking the same thing. I'll need a windows laptop just to access my Microbrute editing app... and my audio interface (?).. if my old mac dies by then. I'm most worried about the software. PowerPC to Intel sucked imho.. I'm not keen on building a whole new system. Consumerism is not cool.

And all the Roland USB stuff will probably stop working too.. (I'm thinking boutique synths.. well maybe they'll update them..right)

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adfielding
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Post 17 Jun 2020

I suspect the transition is going to be rough - we saw how many problems cropped up with the more recent Catalina update, and that was nothing compared to a full-on shift in architecture. Bridging the platform gap between Mac and iDevice makes a whole lot of sense when you have hardware like the iPad Pro sitting around without full-on "professional" software support to back it up, and cutting Intel out of the manufacturing equation means one less dependency... but that's a hell of a shift.

I think it'll be exciting to watch, and I think it's a smart move for Apple if they can pull it off - but I think it's going to be messy.

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miscend
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Post 22 Jun 2020

Announcement came today. They will be sending $500 Mac Mini hardware with the new A12Z chips out to developers this week. The first consumer Macs with the new chips should ship at the end of the year. They expect the transition to last two years, there are still new models with Intel chips currently in the pipeline. They promised the switch will be seamless to end users with a new version of Rosetta that will dynamically translate x86 apps into ARM code on the fly. They showed X86 versions of Maya running a complex 3D scene and Tomb Raider running in real time under Rosetta.

The new MacOS version 11.0 (Big Sur) will also natively run all iOS apps without any work needed from developers. I can't wait to run my iOS synths on the desktop!
Last edited by miscend on 23 Jun 2020, edited 1 time in total.

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selig
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Post 22 Jun 2020

adfielding wrote:
17 Jun 2020
I suspect the transition is going to be rough - we saw how many problems cropped up with the more recent Catalina update, and that was nothing compared to a full-on shift in architecture. Bridging the platform gap between Mac and iDevice makes a whole lot of sense when you have hardware like the iPad Pro sitting around without full-on "professional" software support to back it up, and cutting Intel out of the manufacturing equation means one less dependency... but that's a hell of a shift.

I think it'll be exciting to watch, and I think it's a smart move for Apple if they can pull it off - but I think it's going to be messy.
Yea, as it was also messy during the 68000 to Intel transition. But I managed to keep producing music through it all without a hiccup, and eventually learned the new OS almost as well as I knew the old. But the payoff was totally worth it IMO, and the transition pain was quickly forgotten. I actually trust Apple to only undertake such a huge transition if the ends justify the means, which of course in no way means I 100% trust them to do it "pain free"… ;)
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marcuswitt
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Post 22 Jun 2020

adfielding wrote:
17 Jun 2020
I suspect the transition is going to be rough - we saw how many problems cropped up with the more recent Catalina update, and that was nothing compared to a full-on shift in architecture. Bridging the platform gap between Mac and iDevice makes a whole lot of sense when you have hardware like the iPad Pro sitting around without full-on "professional" software support to back it up, and cutting Intel out of the manufacturing equation means one less dependency... but that's a hell of a shift.

I think it'll be exciting to watch, and I think it's a smart move for Apple if they can pull it off - but I think it's going to be messy.
Hi Adam,

in this particular case I'm quite optimistic that they'll handle the transition phase smoothly, i.e. in a step-by-step manner by starting with those Macs that have the highest take rate, which is most likely the MacBook family, the MacMini and the iMac. Im my opinion, the MacBookPro and the iPad Pro family will likely be merged to a new product line. But well, that's just my personal expectation and nothing but speculation so far - how could it be more than that. :) We'll see.
I simply hope that the manufacturers of hardware that requires dedicated drivers, such as many of the manufacturers of midi, audio and video interfaces will start early enough to jump on the bandwagon to avoid such 'semi disasters' we've experienced quite some times before.
I wonder what companies like KORG will do with their software products that they currently offer for both platforms, i.e. PC / Mac and iOS devices, offering the same features but for totally different prices. And this also raises the question of when we will experience Reason in the full version on a device that is now called iPad? Exciting times are ahead of us. I'm looking forward to it.

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fieldframe
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Post 22 Jun 2020

marcuswitt wrote:
22 Jun 2020
Im my opinion, the MacBookPro and the iPad Pro family will likely be merged to a new product line.
iOS and MacOS are too different to fully merge, but the fact that Apple-SOC Macs will run iPad apps natively seems to say one thing clearly: The Mac is going to absorb part of the iPad. I think it's quite likely Apple will release a touchscreen MacBook, but with touch functionality limited exclusively to iPad apps.

MacOS will definitely stay trackpad/mouse-only, but I could imagine them adopting a Lenovo Yoga form factor in a future MacBook where you fold the keyboard under the screen, and doing so turns the Mac into a part-time iPad.
marcuswitt wrote:
22 Jun 2020
And this also raises the question of when we will experience Reason in the full version on a device that is now called iPad?
Unfortunately, there's actually a major reason why this is currently impossible, and will be for the foreseeable future. It has to do with App Store restrictions on downloadable code. Basically, apps can't download code at all. Apps like Korg Gadget only work because all the code for the in-app purchases is included in the core app, and IAPs just unlock them. There's no way Reason Studios could make Rack Extensions work on iOS unless Apple significantly changes its policies.

A full version of Reason could possibly work on iOS, but I don't think Reason Studios would want to do it without the possibility of REs.
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DaveyG
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Post 23 Jun 2020

fieldframe wrote:
22 Jun 2020

iOS and MacOS are too different to fully merge,
You are not looking far enough ahead. Of course they will merge - it's an obvious goal. iPads now run iPadOs rather than iOS, which I'm sure will be part of that transition.

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QVprod
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Post 23 Jun 2020

After watching the keynote, I'm almost pretty much back to my original position abiut there being no issues. Granted, there will be some programing involved for DAWs to become native, but Rosetta 2 seems like it'll ease the transition quite a bit. Compiling a current mac app, they estimate will only take a few days and the app will work on both Apple Silicon as well as Intel macs. That does raise the question for me though as to whether the apps in the Mac app store are different to Reason or any other program that's not in the app store.

Also, iPhone and iPad apps will work on Mac. I think it's pretty clear the lines between Mac OS, iPad OS, and iOS are being blurred. I suspect they'll probably all run the same OS by the end of the decade. Definitely exciting.

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tronam
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Post 23 Jun 2020

Me and my 2005 G5 PowerMac remember the last transition quite well ;-), but I actually feel pretty optimistic about this one. The amount of experience and resources at Apple's disposal now is staggering compared to the mid 2000s when the switch was almost out of desperation as PowerPC was rapidly being outpaced, especially in mobile computing where they were struggling to get one into a laptop without massive thermal issues (sound familiar?). They've probably been prototyping macOS on ARM for years now, but really started ramping up development when Intel began falling behind and could no longer maintain their old tick-tock strategy. Intel's transition pain to 10nm over the past few years has been one of the weirdest high profile industry fumbles in ages. Reports are suggesting even *more* delays and we may not see high performance 10nm desktop chips until 2022 now; I don't know what the heck is happening over there. In the meantime AMD is eating their x86 lunch (in the consumer market, though making strides in the lucrative server space too) and TSMC has been out-innovating them on the manufacturing side for years. I think this is as good a time as any for Apple to finally take control and unify the whole product line with their own silicon.
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