Apple invites select developers to Apple silicon Mac labs ahead of launch

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2020
Apple has invited developers taking part in the Universal App Quick Start Program to a round of one-on-one labs, with the initiative designed to prepare apps for upcoming Apple silicon Macs.

Developer Transition Kit


The lab series offers developers one-on-one code-level guidance from an Apple engineer who, according to the company, will help optimize iPhone, iPad and Mac apps for Apple silicon.

Participants of the Quick Start Program are receiving invitations to take part in the sessions via email. Developers can request a 30-minute appointment until Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. Pacific. One-on-one labs are to be held on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5.

Established earlier this year, the Universal App Quick Start Program allows developers to get a head start on programming software for Apple silicon Macs before the first devices launch. Those accepted into the program were able to purchase a Developer Transition Kit, which amounted to a Mac mini with specialized hardware powered by Apple's A12Z system-on-chip.

The testbed is thought to closely mimic the performance of initial Apple silicon Mac models, the first of which could debut in November. Apple previously said it planned on releasing an ARM-based Mac before the end of 2020, ahead of a complete shift away from Intel-based processors in about two years.

Recent rumors suggest Apple will unveil an Apple silicon Mac at a special event in November.

It remains unclear as to which Mac model will be first to get the Apple silicon treatment, but rumors in June pointed to a 12-inch MacBook with an "A14X" processor. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in July predicted a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and revamped MacBook Air will be first to sport Apple's custom chips in the fourth quarter of 2020. Those are expected to be followed by 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models and an all-new form factor device in the second or third quarter of 2021, Kuo said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    What can they do in 30 minutes?

    That seems too short to do a comprehensive profiling, much less offering significant code advice. There must be something in the way of followup.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,542member
    Nov 4-5 one-on-one labs,Nov 12 invitation,Nov 17th announcement.

  • Reply 3 of 34
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,630member
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 


    Alex1N
  • Reply 4 of 34
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 738member
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 


    bah, can't wait to start buying Apps like crazy ONE TIME, for all silicon variants...
    as soon as they say "native/runs on iPhone/iPad/Mac" PURCHASE clicked...
    spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 34
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 


    I would remind you that the A12Z in my iPad Pro already outperforms most PC notebooks right now.

    I am extremely confident that Apple will take advantage of the greater engineering specs of the Mac line to create a new family of A14-based chips that will exceed the current offering and handily take the crown of “fastest chip in a consumer computer.”
    tmayronnspock1234rezwitsargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 34
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,511member
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.   
    I hold a very high standard for Apple, but even I wouldn't say "performance needs to be 3x Intel or else."
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 34
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,511member
    Apple's invitation actually said "...for Apple silicon Macs" so that does suggest Apple is keeping the Mac branding for the new ASi computers. Although oddly they didn't have "silicon" capitalized. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 34
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,630member
    chasm said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 


    I would remind you that the A12Z in my iPad Pro already outperforms most PC notebooks right now.

    I am extremely confident that Apple will take advantage of the greater engineering specs of the Mac line to create a new family of A14-based chips that will exceed the current offering and handily take the crown of “fastest chip in a consumer computer.”
    To which Apple stated the Engineers weren't even trying to put together the Developer Kit and it was not a guide to the hardware that will ship.
    "Believe me our engineers will be trying for the Mac"
    If they ship a Aseries chip in a Mac where is the "trying"?
    With the Watch Apple has driven the small core efficiency that is "trying"

    Apple are betting the farm they can't leave people thinking they aren't trying. That there wasn't something special to do with Mac Chip they couldn't do sticking to intel.
    To me that means a new core or function, preformance leap or both.  To which everyone will say why can't the iPad have that too.

    9secondkox2
  • Reply 9 of 34
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,630member
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.   
    I hold a very high standard for Apple, but even I wouldn't say "performance needs to be 3x Intel or else."
    speed, an additional function or both.
    I want gain for the pain.

    9secondkox2argonaut
  • Reply 10 of 34
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 


    Nonsense. They only need to be on par with entry-level CPU's. And they have been for some time. First mac will probably be a laptop where the CPU hardly matters, like the macbook air. If they would release something that blows top-level AMD and Intel CPU's out out of the water they would kill their entire line-up. And the software isn't even there yet, and many other hurdles remain. Apple is still a business and they are not going to release a Mac Pro competitor anytime soon.
    tmayronnspock1234dewmeargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 34
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 620member
    AppleInsider said:
    The testbed is thought to closely mimic the performance of initial Apple silicon Mac models, the first of which could debut in November.

    I’m not sure what you are trying to say here. Apple specifically stated the opposite of this. They said the DTK is the result when Apple’s engineers aren’t even trying. 

    I would expect anything released to have significantly more performance than the DTK’s A12z. 

    mattinozspock1234argonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 34
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,754member
    mattinoz said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.   
    I hold a very high standard for Apple, but even I wouldn't say "performance needs to be 3x Intel or else."
    speed, an additional function or both.
    I want gain for the pain. 
    What pain?
    dewme
  • Reply 13 of 34
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,630member
    mcdave said:
    mattinoz said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.   
    I hold a very high standard for Apple, but even I wouldn't say "performance needs to be 3x Intel or else."
    speed, an additional function or both.
    I want gain for the pain. 
    What pain?
    It is a transition that has a version number jump that indicates compatibility breaking changes. 
    There will be pain. 
  • Reply 14 of 34
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 



    While Mac ASi will be based off the A-series, they will not be the same nor used across the different product lines. They will have a lot in common as many of the logical units will probably be the same; ISP, ANE, etc. But I would be very surprised if they used the same CPU and GPU cores - even though it is reasonable that they could - Apple is perfectly capable of designing new Mac specific CPU and GPU cores. And, in fact, they already said the GPU cores would be "bigger". There are other factors that support a new series of chips as well; PCI support, VT-x like capabilities, disparate RAM (hopefully upgradeable), much less need to be energy efficient on the desktop, etc.

    However, I don't think CPU performance needs to be what you think it does. It really only needs to match what we have now. The benefits will come from the other parts of the SoC. I do expect much better performance on the low end, especially in MacBooks. And then just slightly better on the high end. Apple is mainly looking for a smaller thermal baseline than anything else. This is where Intel has utterly failed and why MacBook Pros have had throttling issues.
    tmayronnspock1234argonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,260member
    chasm said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 


    I would remind you that the A12Z in my iPad Pro already outperforms most PC notebooks right now.

    I am extremely confident that Apple will take advantage of the greater engineering specs of the Mac line to create a new family of A14-based chips that will exceed the current offering and handily take the crown of “fastest chip in a consumer computer.”

    That is likely true.   A computer powered by Apple Silicon will likely do amazing things that astound the world.
    But, what will be its limitations?
    ...   Every solution tends shift problems around and even create new ones.   We have yet to hear the flip side of this advance.

    For example:   I installed Windows 10 under Bootcamp on my grandson's MacBook and it is good that I did because without it he would not have been able to use it for Cyberschool.    Likewise, last night, he tried doing a math assignment on his iPad -- but it would only display 9 or the 30 problems he had to solve because it wouldn't scroll.   He shifted over to his now Windows 10 MacBook and completed the assignment.

    Personally, I would want to hear all of the pluses and the minuses of an Apple Silicon Mac before sinking a grand or two into one.
    edited October 2020 spock1234dewmemuthuk_vanalingamargonaut
  • Reply 16 of 34
    GeorgeBMac said: Likewise, last night, he tried doing a math assignment on his iPad -- but it would only display 9 or the 30 problems he had to solve because it wouldn't scroll.   He shifted over to his now Windows 10 MacBook and completed the assignment.
    Bad example!
    Are you trying to suggest that the scrolling issue could be a potential limitation of Apple SOC? It is clearly a result of poorly written software, and not related with any conceivable limitation of the Apple SOC. 
    tmayaderutterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 34
    The A14 performance is kind of equivalent to the top of the line 13” MacBookPro.
    The A14X for the next iPad Pro will be a step up from that.
    The A14T for the first 12” Appke Silicon MacBook will be another step up from that.

    Oh and my son does cyber-schooling on a MBP using Microsft Teams, Safari etc. just fine. 
    No need for windows if a school is competent.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 34
    Don't think Apple needs to push for the fastest CPU at all. I believe they should and would focus more on portability and battery life. The low power use could be a game-changer for the mobile world when it comes to performance per battery life statistics. Sure they can, later on, add more cores to it, but they should rather focus on optimizing/maximizing the software to the current A12 chips. Remember even though it has 8 cores only 4 of them are high-performance cores and the other 4 is high-efficiency ones. The lower end MacBooks would benefit a lot from this setup but the pros might want to ditch the efficient cores. Seeing as the current high-performance cores are already significantly more efficient than the current intel variants.
    spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 34
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.   
    I hold a very high standard for Apple, but even I wouldn't say "performance needs to be 3x Intel or else."
    This makes no sense.
    "I will not buy that car unless it has 3X the performance of any other car"
    If it was that easy everyone would have done it already


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 34
    sighting said:
    The low power use could be a game-changer for the mobile world when it comes to performance per battery life statistics.
    Agree. Battery life is the area most likely to generate radical gains. Apple will certainly have a lot of flexibility when it comes to performance level vs battery life.
    watto_cobra
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