In an unusual year, Apple is holding its fourth special event later today. The centerpiece of this “one more thing” event, will be the first Macs with Apple’s own chip — named Apple Silicon — based on ARM architecture. Here’s what we can expect from the keynote:
Macs based on Apple Silicon
It’s a Mac event, so we’ll see…new Macs. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Apple’s set to unveil three MacBooks powered by indigenous chips: two MacBook Pros and a MacBook Air.
The report noted that the MacBook Pros will come in 13-inch and 16-inch sizes, while the new MacBook Air will be available in a 13-inch size. These machines will run a specially crafted version of A14 Bionic, the processor used in Apple’s latest series of iPhones.
There’s no sign that Apple will announce a new desktop machine based on its own chip. However, we can expect the company to release them down the road as it moves away from Intel chips.
Big Sur, finally (and developer stuff)
Usually, the latest version of macOS gets announced at WWDC developer conference in June and shipped to customers in September. However, this year, we only got the developer beta, version 11.0.1, in October. That suggested that Apple might be honing its operating system for the big launch.
We might also see how Rosetta 2, Apple’s transition software to help developers move from Intel to ARM, will act in “real-life” (read: demo) scenarios on commercial machines.
There’s also a possibility that Apple might show off a few iOS apps running on the new platform. While it’ll be a super-controlled demo, I won’t rule out a glitch.
How to watch
There have been rumors of Apple releasing its Airtags tracking devices for long, but if we were to believe tipster Jon Prosser, they’ll only show up in March 2021. So, there might not be any other devices unveiled at this event.
Personally, I’m excited about the ARM-based MacBook Air. My 2017 MacBook Air is still going strong, but if Apple’s chip can prove its worth, I might purchase the new machine next year.
As always, we’ll bring you all coverage from the event on Plugged.
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