Hey, I would like to share with you my thoughts about the transition to Apple Silicon based new Macbook Pro from a Software Developer perspective. So I was really waiting for the recent Apple event as I believed that they would bump the Macbook Pro 16” spec, still using intel chips. However that didn’t happen so I’m going to buy the existing model, instead of waiting for Apple Silicon based new Macbook Pro 16”, you might think that I’m insane, but let me explain you why i decided to do this:
- A lot of people may say: “Apple Silicon is future proof” – yes, this is absolutely true, if you will buy an intel based MacBook right now, you will really want to sell it in 3 years and you will lose a lot of money, as the price will drop significantly. Everyone will want to buy an Apple Silicon based version. But if you are a software developer you need a tool to work efficiently right now, without considering what will happen with it in 3 years. Buying new architecture right now you will lose more money and time struggling with it than you will save by buying a “future proof MacBook” This leads us to the second important issue:
- It’s great to see how much faster XCode is on the new Macbook Pro with M1 chip, really, this is amazing, but the problem is that even if you are a very focused iOS Developer you are probably usually many other tools, not written by Apple… and most of them will likely have problems for at least the next (optimistic version). But there is Rosetta 2, yes, there is, but If any of you remember the pain of switching from PowerPC to Intel in the past then you know what I mean, back then Apple also provided a Rosetta app to handle switch and that didn’t work as expected. You don’t believe me? Problems already started, even with apps like Docker https://github.com/docker/for-mac/issues/4733 which have many developers working on it. Now please imagine niche but useful tools, like for example Charles proxy, written by only 1 guy. It will take them at least a few months to release a stable version working on both Intel and Silicon chips. Many developers will not devote time to transition until they will see a significant rise of users with silicon based MacBooks. Today they published an official blog post about new M1 ARM chips: https://www.docker.com/blog/apple-silicon-m1-chips-and-docker/
- Last but not least, buying a first MacBook pro with Apple Silicon chip makes you an early adopter and with that comes a high risk of problems which might be not known right now, this is a completely new product with new architecture, we just don’t know what might happen with it in future. I really believe Apple was testing it for a long time, but still, this is the first MacBook with an ARM processor and nobody really knows if everything will be working fine in 1, 2, 3 years…
Ok, that’s it, I just wanted to share with you my thoughts about switching to new architecture and I hope you enjoyed it.