Upcoming macOS 11.3 update may remove Rosetta 2 in some regions

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple may be planning to remove support for Rosetta 2 on M1 Macs in certain regions with the release of macOS 11.3, according to code strings discovered in the third beta build of the software update.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Code strings discovered in the third beta version of macOS 11.3, which was seeded to developers Tuesday, suggest that Rosetta 2 "will be removed upon installing this update." Another string may advise that "Rosetta is no longer available in your region. Applications requiring Rosetta will no longer run."

The strings were first spotted by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser.

Rosetta 2 is a translation layer that allows Apple Silicon Macs to run apps built for Intel's x86 architecture. It's part of a suite of features meant to smooth the transition from Intel to Apple Silicon processors, a switch that kicked off in 2020 and is expected to take two years.

It isn't clear why Apple would remove Rosetta 2 in some regions, especially since nearly half of all popular macOS apps still needed the translation layer as of February 2021. However, the code strings in macOS 11.3 don't necessarily indicate that support will be cut in that software update.

In addition to the strings referring to Rosetta 2, Moser also discovered code indicating that Apple could add the ability to map controller buttons to keyboard layouts, alongside other minor updates.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Maybe they are simply building the structure in for when they finally remove the code down the line in a few years?  o:)
    fahlmangregoriusmlkruppradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 36
    j2fusionj2fusion Posts: 102member
    Or, it could be because of an upcoming patent dispute. I cannot see any other reason why they would want to remove it since it works so well.  
    mwhitecaladaniankillroydysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 36
    Fidonet127Fidonet127 Posts: 216member
    Export controls?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 36
    j2fusion said:
    Or, it could be because of an upcoming patent dispute. I cannot see any other reason why they would want to remove it since it works so well.  
    With Intel? Seems odd.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 36

    Export controls?
    China?
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Removing Rosetta would be a disaster for Apple Silicon in any region. Rosetta is the technology that gives a customer confidence that their software will likely run on M1 Macs. If Apple removes it anywhere, everyone will wonder if their region is next. Watch as sales plummet. It could not only be the end of Apple Silicon, it could be the end of the Mac itself. If this is a patent dispute, Apple should fight it or pay.
    mainyehcelijahgdysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 36
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,524member
    I suspect there's some IP/Patent issue going on.  Rosetta lets one run x86(64) under ARM.  So, my 2-cent guess (valued at today's market rates) is that something about that translation runs afoul with someone.  If so, it must be obvious since Apple is preparing to possibly remove that functionality in regions of issue.

    Will be interesting to see.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 36
    draenardraenar Posts: 6member
    Removing Rosetta would be a disaster for Apple Silicon in any region. Rosetta is the technology that gives a customer confidence that their software will likely run on M1 Macs. If Apple removes it anywhere, everyone will wonder if their region is next. Watch as sales plummet. It could not only be the end of Apple Silicon, it could be the end of the Mac itself. If this is a patent dispute, Apple should fight it or pay.
    It depends on when Apple does it.

    Apple announced a two-year transition.  It's perfectly reasonable to tell developers that their software needs to run on Apple Silicon0 by that time.  This is a way to do that.  Once people's software runs on Apple Silicon without Rosetta, the implications for Apple Silicon will be minor at best.

    It is possible that legal issues could hurry that, but by limiting it to markets where that happens faster than Apple plans, Apple can mitigate the damages until the transition is history.  

    This is not Apple's first processor change, and I suspect they have plans for how to get through the difficulties.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 36
    What regions ?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 36
    gerry ggerry g Posts: 38member
    "What regions ?"

    Planet Earth knowing Apple, should be left in fo all time  or at least available to dl and install as a standalone as per users requirements, a lot of good viable software will never be moved over by their respective vendors, going from Intel to M1 is not the same as going from Motorola to Intel, that equaled more choice this on the other hand equals less
    elijahgkillroydysamoria
  • Reply 11 of 36
    PezaPeza Posts: 178member
    I don't think anyone can speculate at present about this as we don't have anywhere near enough facts about it. This may even just be text that was entered in case it was needed, may have been to prepare for some potential issue they were facing that never happened etc. So for the moment I would take it at face value for what it is till we know more. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 36
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,886member
    Maybe it’s a canary trap.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 36
    It would definitely be worth holding off on this update until we ascertain from early upgraders what the true implications will be for it.
    larryjwMisterKitdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 36
    Removing Rosetta would be a disaster for Apple Silicon in any region. Rosetta is the technology that gives a customer confidence that their software will likely run on M1 Macs. If Apple removes it anywhere, everyone will wonder if their region is next. Watch as sales plummet. It could not only be the end of Apple Silicon, it could be the end of the Mac itself. If this is a patent dispute, Apple should fight it or pay.
    This isn’t the end of the world. We have no idea if this will be used at all. Further a good deal of apps have native code already. Most of the apps I run use native code. 
    Pezawatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 36
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 649member
    What regions ?
    Probably just inside Adobe coding buildings.
    (*ducks*)

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 36
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 803member
    The tech behind Rosetta was developed by a company named Transient that was purchased by IBM. Unless IBM has sold it, the tech should still be theirs.
     
    killroydysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    What regions ?
    The French are insisting it is renamed 'Le traducteur'
    macplusplusdaveflashwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 36
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    Removing Rosetta would be a disaster for Apple Silicon in any region. Rosetta is the technology that gives a customer confidence that their software will likely run on M1 Macs. If Apple removes it anywhere, everyone will wonder if their region is next. Watch as sales plummet. It could not only be the end of Apple Silicon, it could be the end of the Mac itself. If this is a patent dispute, Apple should fight it or pay.
    Given that it's a binary translator, maybe Apple would be able to offer a service that translates the binaries on a server or allows a developer to ship pre-translated binaries. Once all existing software is translated, the translator doesn't need to be part of the OS.

    It's far from a disaster for ARM Macs, this is the route Apple has decided to go and if anything it should push developers to support it instead of relying on Rosetta. These transitions always take a bit of time because over 100 million people use Macs and they sell less than 20 million new ones per year so it will take at least 3 years before most active users are on Apple Silicon and developers prioritize support for the majority of users.
    muthuk_vanalingamkillroyradarthekatdaveflashwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 36
    Peza said:
    I don't think anyone can speculate at present about this as we don't have anywhere near enough facts about it. This may even just be text that was entered in case it was needed, may have been to prepare for some potential issue they were facing that never happened etc. So for the moment I would take it at face value for what it is till we know more. 
    Are you suggesting people take a rational approach to this rather than dive head first into speculation and righteous indignation with an extra large side of hyperbole? 
    Fidonet127lkruppdoggoneright_said_fredAlex1NPezawatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 20 of 36

    Removing Rosetta would be a disaster for Apple Silicon in any region. Rosetta is the technology that gives a customer confidence that their software will likely run on M1 Macs. If Apple removes it anywhere, everyone will wonder if their region is next. Watch as sales plummet. It could not only be the end of Apple Silicon, it could be the end of the Mac itself. If this is a patent dispute, Apple should fight it or pay.
    Sooooo.... You have no idea what is actually happening, if anything, but you know the outcome and what Apple should do?
    edited March 3 Fidonet127roundaboutnowPezawatto_cobra
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