Apple's Federighi and Joswiak discuss Apple silicon, iOS 14, Big Sur and more

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
In what has become an annual event, Apple SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi and VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak sat down with John Gruber to discuss the new products, innovations and services announced at WWDC.

Craig Federighi on The Talk Show
Craig Federighi on The Talk Show


As usual, Gruber goes in-depth on the event's biggest announcements, including Apple's coming transition away from Intel chips in Mac to its own custom silicon, keystone features of next-generation operating systems iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, watchOS 7, tvOS 14, user privacy and more.

The remote interview was recorded as a special WWDC 2020 edition of Daring Fireball's "The Talk Show" podcast and uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday.

Transitioning away from Intel

"Those of us who do know about what's coming [are] very excited," said Federighi. "But you can imagine Apple would not go down a path like this without feeling like that it was a tremendous step for the Mac in the future. We're excited to tell the full story... but right now hopefully developers know enough to both be excited and compelled to get on board and do their part."

Federighi wanted to stress that the Developer Transition Kit that was released this week should not be compared to any future consumer product. "Even that DTK hardware, which is running on an existing iPad chip that we don't intend to put in a Mac in the future, it's just there for the transition, the Mac runs awfully nice on that system."

"It's not a basis on which to judge future Macs, of course, but it gives you a sense of what our silicon team can do when they're not even trying," he continued. "And they're going to be trying.

Buyer lock-in

Gruber discussed how some people have concluded that Apple's move to its own silicon is part of a plan to further lock developers and consumers into the Apple eco-system.

"I think those guys are being total tools, honestly," said Federighi. "I mean, I don't how they can even begin to come up with that theory. I get people coming up asking if we can still launch Terminal? Yes, you can. These Macs are Macs. We're not changing any of this.


Broad topics

Apple's Greg Joswiak defended the company's App Store, but did also acknowledge that there were issues that are being looked at.

Separately, Federighi acknowledged that users were concerned about the future of running Windows on Macs that are based on Apple Silicon. "We're not direct-booting an alternate operating system," he said, confirming that Boot Camp will be run on the new Macs. However, he implied that Windows will be able to run under virtualization. "The fact that we mentioned virtualization in the keynote was partly a nod to people's interest in the topic."

The full video interview runs 95 minutes, and also ranges from the App Store disputes with developers, to what it's like working intensively with macOS Big Sur, and on to Apple's long history in privacy.
watto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    j2fusionj2fusion Posts: 137member
    I am worried that the transition will curtail or eliminate access to low level system functions. For example, iOS does not allow access to MAC addresses on the local network limiting the usability of network scanners. This is just one example that could limit the effectiveness of many utilities. We all don’t just want to run Word and Photoshop. I also hope companies like VMware see the worth in developing an emulator for Intel processors. 
    lkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 24
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 311member
    j2fusion said:
    I am worried that the transition will curtail or eliminate access to low level system functions. For example, iOS does not allow access to MAC addresses on the local network limiting the usability of network scanners. This is just one example that could limit the effectiveness of many utilities. We all don’t just want to run Word and Photoshop. I also hope companies like VMware see the worth in developing an emulator for Intel processors. 
    I watched the WWDC Guide to transitioning to Apple Silicon last night and the level of detail that they're getting into pretty much tells me that they've thought all of these things through.
    StrangeDayspatchythepiratermusikantowcat52lolliverjony0rundhvidwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    It looks like target disk mode has been replaced by smb on arm Macs. I hope this does not mean that it is no longer possible to access the whole file system (including system files)!
    lkrupp
  • Reply 4 of 24
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,048member
    I can understand the emphasis on power for laptops.  I am not so sure desktops. Of course these Apple silicon probably would be great in Data centers.

    If they can make the chips more powerful and cheaper than intel then Apple could win a lot of market share without sacrificing profits.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    neilmneilm Posts: 901member
    k2kw said:
    I can understand the emphasis on power for laptops.  I am not so sure desktops. Of course these Apple silicon probably would be great in Data centers.
    Processing power vs. power consumption are a sliding scale trade-off that'll be directed one way for laptops, the other for desktops.
    StrangeDaysrmusikantowchasmjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 24
    morkymorky Posts: 192member
    j2fusion said:
    I am worried that the transition will curtail or eliminate access to low level system functions. For example, iOS does not allow access to MAC addresses on the local network limiting the usability of network scanners. This is just one example that could limit the effectiveness of many utilities. We all don’t just want to run Word and Photoshop. I also hope companies like VMware see the worth in developing an emulator for Intel processors. 
    I wouldn't worry, from everything they are saying this will simply be a Mac on a different processor architecture. Just a way better Mac.
    Beatscat52lolliverfastasleepjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 24
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,260administrator
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    It looks like target disk mode has been replaced by smb on arm Macs. I hope this does not mean that it is no longer possible to access the whole file system (including system files)!
    Yup, we found this yesterday. It'll be interesting to see how it alters troubleshooting and similar in the long run.
     
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/06/24/apple-silicon-macs-ditch-startup-key-combos-alter-target-disk-mode
    edited June 2020 xyzzy-xxxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 24
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,574member
    k2kw said:
    I can understand the emphasis on power for laptops.  I am not so sure desktops. Of course these Apple silicon probably would be great in Data centers.
    Computing power per watt is always a consideration, whether laptop or desktop. Desktops have to manage heat and thermal efficiency too, and it's what causes even today's Intel desktop chips to throttle. Lots of articles about it.
    lolliverjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,078member
    The question is: will direct booting an alternative OS, e.g. Linux, be possible and allowed, or be prevented by Apple’s security measures?

    Windows is already available for ARM, even though not widely available compared to x86; so the question is there too: not what will Apple provide and support, but what will Apple block or make possible by documenting hardware sufficiently for device drivers to be written/adapted?
  • Reply 10 of 24
    rcfa said:
    The question is: will direct booting an alternative OS, e.g. Linux, be possible and allowed, or be prevented by Apple’s security measures?

    Windows is already available for ARM, even though not widely available compared to x86; so the question is there too: not what will Apple provide and support, but what will Apple block or make possible by documenting hardware sufficiently for device drivers to be written/adapted?
    I think you have your answer:
    "We're not direct-booting an alternate operating system," he said,


    lolliverfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,438member
    k2kw said:
    I can understand the emphasis on power for laptops.  I am not so sure desktops. Of course these Apple silicon probably would be great in Data centers.
    Computing power per watt is always a consideration, whether laptop or desktop. Desktops have to manage heat and thermal efficiency too, and it's what causes even today's Intel desktop chips to throttle. Lots of articles about it.
    Power/heat is especially important on Apple desktops (except for the Mac Pro). The iMac and Mini have a limited ability to dissipate heat, at least compared to your typical PC tower. I hope Apple doesn't impose tighter thermal constraints with new designs than are already there. 
  • Reply 12 of 24
    heinzelheinzel Posts: 116member
    Great interview, touching on a lot of subjects. I thought the part on privacy and the reasons for strong encryption toward the end was particularly interesting.
    chasmlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 24
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,756member
    j2fusion said:
    I am worried that the transition will curtail or eliminate access to low level system functions. For example, iOS does not allow access to MAC addresses on the local network limiting the usability of network scanners. This is just one example that could limit the effectiveness of many utilities. We all don’t just want to run Word and Photoshop. I also hope companies like VMware see the worth in developing an emulator for Intel processors. 
    Luckily the new Macs aren’t running iOS.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,893member
    hmlongco said:
    j2fusion said:
    I am worried that the transition will curtail or eliminate access to low level system functions. For example, iOS does not allow access to MAC addresses on the local network limiting the usability of network scanners. This is just one example that could limit the effectiveness of many utilities. We all don’t just want to run Word and Photoshop. I also hope companies like VMware see the worth in developing an emulator for Intel processors. 
    I watched the WWDC Guide to transitioning to Apple Silicon last night and the level of detail that they're getting into pretty much tells me that they've thought all of these things through.
    Apple will always make decisions that are ultimately in its own best interest... like discontinuing support for macOS Server (IMAP/dovecot, SMTP/postfix, CardDAV, CalDAV, etc.), which may have been necessitated by the conversion to Apple Silicon and API changes Apple plans for macOS. Never mind that that decision created a major headache and expense for some long-time loyal customers. IMHO macOS developers who are interested in low-level access and cross-platform compatibility should be worried about their future with the Mac.
    edited June 2020 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 24
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    It looks like target disk mode has been replaced by smb on arm Macs. I hope this does not mean that it is no longer possible to access the whole file system (including system files)!
    This seems like a lot of "jumping to conclusions" to me. As C-Fed said, these Macs are Macs ... which I take to mean that everything system-native thing you can do on an Intel Mac now, you will be able to do on an Apple Mac. Given that the Terminal will survive the transition intact, this certainly implies that concepts like su and root will as well, and so should graphical utilities that allow for that level of control without having to use Terminal.

    Time will tell, but so far it appears that everything in the Apple OS universe is still sitting on top of UNIX.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member

    rcfa said:
    The question is: will direct booting an alternative OS, e.g. Linux, be possible and allowed, or be prevented by Apple’s security measures?

    Windows is already available for ARM, even though not widely available compared to x86; so the question is there too: not what will Apple provide and support, but what will Apple block or make possible by documenting hardware sufficiently for device drivers to be written/adapted?
    I think you have your answer:
    "We're not direct-booting an alternate operating system," he said,


    Correct, but given that Linux was given CONSIDERABLE amounts of time in the State of the Platform (and even an unusual amount of time in the keynote itself), there is clearly a path for virtualization available within the design of Apple Macs. Apart from gaming and other limited use cases, virtualization has been the preferred method of running Windows apps for a very long time, and I fully expect that this will continue to be possible in future Apple Macs just as it already is with Linux via Parallels right now.

    To be fair, the need to do so has been considerably diminished over the years since Apple switched to Intel chips, and given that Apple seems extremely confident that their roadmap outpaces that of other chipmakers for the future, it is quite possible that longtime Windows holdouts may actually reconsider their position in the years to come. But for stupid things like needing to run Quicken (by which I mean its stupid that Intuit is so Mac-hostile), I don't think customers that could conceivably be affected by that a few years from now have much to worry about.

    Windows on ARM exists and will continue to be developed, so virtualization of consumer-grade apps like that and, say, Access are very likely to happen, and you can bet that the current virtualization companies are scheduling a lot of those 1-on-1 sessions with Apple engineers this week. Direct booting may not matter as much if Apple Silicon's virtualization path ends up being faster than the same app running directly on Intel chips. 
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 24
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member

    neilm said:
    k2kw said:
    I can understand the emphasis on power for laptops.  I am not so sure desktops. Of course these Apple silicon probably would be great in Data centers.
    Processing power vs. power consumption are a sliding scale trade-off that'll be directed one way for laptops, the other for desktops.
    Exactly. For example (and this was discussed on the State of the Platform), iPhones and iPads work with very limited RAM compared to desktops/notebooks, and with a core array (mostly "efficiency" cores vs "high performance" cores) based on what iOS apps require balanced against tight battery management and heat considerations.

    In an Apple Mac, you can add more cores of both types and take advantage of far more RAM while still controlling thermals in ways an iPhone and iPad simply can't do. To repeat a constant theme of WWDC so far, having to work first in incredibly tight constraints has taught Apple a lot about performance-per-watt, which also benefits users when some of those iOS-based constraints can be loosened a bit.

    I'm very excited for the future of Apple notebooks, but eventually most desktop users are going to be in for a big treat as the transition continues. Yes things like direct-booting into alternative OSes and a few low-level things will have to be dropped due to either security concerns or just the change of processors, but so far (and yes, it's early days yet), I think the pain will be minimal apart from some very edge cases, and the potential for unexpected but positive developments is quite high.

    In short, this is where we were 20 years ago, though this time I think with fewer bugs and even bigger benefits. :smile: 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,034member
    rcfa said:
    The question is: will direct booting an alternative OS, e.g. Linux, be possible and allowed, or be prevented by Apple’s security measures?

    Windows is already available for ARM, even though not widely available compared to x86; so the question is there too: not what will Apple provide and support, but what will Apple block or make possible by documenting hardware sufficiently for device drivers to be written/adapted?
    I think you have your answer:
    "We're not direct-booting an alternate operating system," he said,


    I don’t see it as being important, except for those guys running Windows. In general, the various Linux distributions run well on stripped down systems. They won’t have any problems under Parallels here. They have no problems now. And these will be ARM Linux distros, so everything there will be just fine.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 24
    I’m gonna go out on a limb here but I think this move is a good choice. I truly believe something’s about to be released that is quite astounding. Albeit with some trade offs. But, in the long term I think it’s good. I’m just a Mac user who needs Final Cut, After effects, cinema4d, all of Adobe to work. 

    edited June 2020 fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 24
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member
    I’m gonna go out on a limb here but I think this move is a good choice. I truly believe something’s about to be released that is quite astounding. Albeit with some trade offs. But, in the long term I think it’s good. I’m just a Mac user who needs Final Cut, After effects, cinema4d, all of Adobe to work. 

    Same here. I'm hoping AE and C4D run well under Rosetta for the time being, but that they're not far behind on becoming native. Not sure if you saw the Platforms State of the Union but they showed C4D running a textured view so I'm going to venture a guess that it's working well under Rosetta. FCPX is already native as they demoed. :)
    SkylightActivewatto_cobra
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