Apple unveils its plans to use its own ARM-powered silicon in Macs

Apple switching from Intel to its own custom chips for Macs over a two-year transition period

At WWDC 2020, Apple has announced it will transition its Mac computers to its own custom-designed chips, moving away from Intel chips, and every Mac across its desktop and laptop product lines, including Mac Pro, is running on “Apple silicon” over the next two years. The company plans to ship its first Mac with Apple silicon, perhaps MacBooks or iMac, by the end of 2020.

Every Mac will be running on Apple Silicon

Macs with Apple Silicon will run on the same A-series processors which have been used in iPhones and iPads for more than 10 years, bringing the ability for macOS to support native iOS apps. Developers are now able to make iOS and iPadOS apps available on the ARM-based Macs without any modifications. The transition to the common ARM-based architecture across Apple products should make it easier for developers to write and optimize apps for the entire Apple ecosystem.

Apple also has unveiled “macOS Big Sur,” the beta version now available for developers, a major update of macOS that will be released this fall to deliver the biggest update to design in more than a decade, including applications built for the transition.

Tim Cook introduced the transition to Apple Silicon, Macs will use its own chips
Tim Cook introduced the transition to Apple Silicon

To transition away from Intel processors, Apple offers “Universal 2” application binaries to enable developers to create apps that work on both platforms, while “Rosetta 2” emulation technology to allow existing Intel apps to run on Apple’s new processors automatically, without any work from developers. Also, the company is launching a Universal App Quick Start Program which includes a modified Mac mini with an A12Z Bionic SoC, the same chip in its latest LiDAR iPad Pro, to help developers get started with Apple silicon-based Macs.

As demonstrated at WWDC keynote, not only Apple’s own apps including Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro but also Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud will be ready for ARM-based Macs.

ARM architecture CPU in Macs, delivers higher performance per watt and better graphic experience
Target of Apple Silicon, ARM architecture CPU in Macs, delivers higher performance per watt and better graphic experience

For years, there have been rumors to transition to ARM architecture CPU in Macs because of Intel’s slowing performance gains.
The benefits of Apple’s move to ARM are a lot, improved battery life, more powerful performance gains, better graphic experience, machine learning capabilities, unified memory architecture, price reduction, and much more.
Anyway, Apple’s five software platforms will run on its own ARM-based processors, across every major Apple device.

Apple has said it plans to continue selling Intel Macs for the next few years, but there are no details on the table about the future of Intel Macs’ roadmap at least now.

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Android 11 is official in beta, comes with a focus on people, controls and privacy

Google has finally dropped the first Android 11 Beta release for Pixel phones (Pixel 2 or newer) without the live event, Google I/O 2020, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Android 11 Beta brings several new features including improved notifications, better control over the other devices and new privacy controls.

This Beta version gives the users the Final APIs, meaning to start final compatibility testing for apps, SDKs, and libraries.

What’s new in Android 11 Beta

Android 11 Beta Release highlights:

Notifications, adding the new “Conversations” section at the top of the notification shade along with priority settings and reminder, make it easier for users to find important contacts, with a people-forward design in one place.

Bubbles, floating on top of the display like Chat Heads of Facebook Messenger, help users to keep conversations in view and accessible while multitasking.

Device Controls, allow users to quickly access and control connected devices such as lights, thermostats and cameras from the power menu.

Media Controls, moved up into pull-down quick settings shade, enable users to control and switch the output device for audio or video contents, whether it be headphones, speakers or TV. Sessions from multiple apps are arranged in a swipeable carousel and users can restart previous sessions from the carousel without having to start the app.

Voice Access, for those users who control their phones entirely by voice, includes an on-device visual cortex that understands screen content and context, and automatically generates labels and access points for accessibility commands.

One-time permission, lets users give an app access to the location, microphone or camera, the user-facing permissions dialog contains an option called Only this time. The next time the app needs access to these sensors, it will have to request permissions again.

Permissions auto-reset, if users haven’t used an app for a few months, the system will “auto-reset” all of the permissions associated with the app and notify the user. The app can request the permissions again the next time the app is opened.

Consolidated keyboard suggestions, let Autofill apps and IMEs securely offer context-specific entities and strings directly in an IME’s suggestion strip, where they are most convenient for users.

Gboard, lets users to get relevant and automatic suggestions for emoji and text, based on Federated Learning.

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Microsoft Build 2020: Nadella says “The role of developers has never been more important”

This year’s Build held Virtually, All-Digital format for 24 hours a day, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said “2 years worth of digital transformation in just 2 months” in the kick off keynote for Build 2020, its annual developer conference.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella kicks off Microsoft Build 2020

“Our industry has been called upon to help address the world’s most acute needs through this crisis,” said Nadella. “I’m proud of how all of you have raised the game and being there when the world needed you the most.”

Build 2020: CEO Satya Nadella’s opening remarks

At Build 2020, Microsoft previewed the open-sourced “Windows Package Manager,” a command line tool which allows you to install applications on Windows 10 and also the open-sourced “Fluid Framework” to bring real-time collaboration to the Office.

Additionally, the company announced that it has built one of the top five supercomputers in the world, Azure-hosted, to help accelerate AI development and launched Cloud for Healthcare, industry-specific cloud solutions which extend the value of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing, Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Continue reading

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