Tuesday, June 23, 2020 by Tim Webb
The World Wide Developer Conference is an important part of Apple's cult. The keynote serves as sermon to their most faithful followers. A little thing like the apocalypse isn't going to make Apple miss this important occasion in their annual liturgy. Not even when they have absolutely nothing to show off.
Not even a new Apple Watch
I'm amazed by the breathless coverage that has come out of this event. It really is a testament to Apple's marketing department. They showed nothing. It was an hour and a half of nothing. Not even a new Apple Watch. Yet somehow the zealots are in rapturous ecstasy today.
iOS 14: Now with more Google Features!
The only things they did show coming in iOS 14 are features you've already had on iOS devices for many many years, thanks to Google Translate and Google Maps!
macOS on ARM... but not your ARM.
The one piece of news that did come out of the one hour and thirty-seven minute presentation was that macOS can now run on ARM chips. Learned readers will note that the iPad and iPhone run ARM chips, so surely this means that macOS can run on iPad Pros now right? Right? Nope.
I've wanted macOS on an iPad since the iPad 1, but instead Apple have decided to go the other way with this. Soon you will be able to play shitty mobile games on your Mac. Now people will finally have to stop making fun of macOS for not having any games. Apple are doubling-down on this, as they further announced that they will be moving away from Intel-based Macs over the next few years.
Apple claim that there are performance improvements in their desktop ARM, over conventional Intel chips. While this is a possibility, it seems like an improbability. Designing CPUs at the modern nanoscale we're at now is non-trivial. Intel are inside of everyone's PCs and servers, because Intel are the only ones really good at it. Okay, fine, AMD does alright too. Intel and AMD are the full list of companies that have demonstrated an ability to produce top-tier chips. While a lot of progress has been made in ARM space, I'd be dubious of any claims that they are matching even AMD's performance. Claims that they are beating Intel are asinine.
There are a lot of knock-on effects from switching CPU architecture. Will you be able to get an NVIDIA GPU in your new Mac? If not, you're fucked if you want to edit video in Adobe Premiere without CUDA cores. Now buying a Mac for the family could have a lot of potential unforeseen consequences. Perhaps your daughter will fall behind in her programming classes because she can't do Machine Learning at the speed she could on an Intel/NVIDIA PC. Now she can't get a decent job, because all the other kids with Intel-based PCs automated hers away. She tries to self-medicate through the depression and degradation of her situation, but becomes a drug addict. All because you picked a Mac.