Developers take note: Apple Silicon is required to develop apps for visionOS

Posted:
in visionOS

Apple released Xcode beta 15.1 on Tuesday with a warning to developers -- creating apps for visionOS and Apple Vision Pro requires a Mac with Apple Silicon.

visionOS
visionOS



There has been some question in the developer community how long Intel machines will be supported by Apple. That cutoff could extend a few more years for some developers, but that deadline may already be here for anyone hoping to build for Apple Vision Pro.

Apple left a clear note in the Xcode 15.1 beta release notes -- Developing for visionOS requires a Mac with Apple Silicon. This was pointed out by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, calling it a line in the sand.



While the visionOS simulator may work on some Intel-based Macs, Apple is telling developers that some portion of development won't be available on Intel, either now or soon. That means any developer still sporting an Intel processor will need to consider an upgrade to Apple Silicon.

It's a difficult market for some since Apple's Mac Pro with M2 Ultra isn't exactly a great move from the Intel model. Those who rely on additional graphics cards won't be able to bring their workflows to Apple Silicon.

Apple declaring Apple Silicon as a requirement for developing visionOS software might be a sign of a greater move coming soon. Some speculate that macOS Sonoma may be the last operating system to support Intel.

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    It wouldn’t surprise me at all that Sonoma is the last OS for Intel machines. Why should Apple put in the additional internal effort or restrict its development path?
    Alex1Ncoolfactorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    byronlbyronl Posts: 365member
    that’s kinda crazy. imagine buying a 50k Mac Pro in 2019 and not be able to develop on it, for a platform the same company makes, just four years later… 
    FileMakerFellerAlex1NgatorguyiOSDevSWEwilliamlondonCloudTalkinjose8964elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,259member
    byronl said:
    that’s kinda crazy. imagine buying a 50k Mac Pro in 2019 and not be able to develop on it, for a platform the same company makes, just four years later… 

    The Vision Pro didn't exist in 2019, at least not in the public domain, so purchasing decisions based on what was coming in 4 years are completely irrelevant.

    Do you make technology purchasing decisions today based on four years from now? The best we can hope for is continued compatibility, and clearly the Vision Pro has such high technical requirements, compiling on an Intel-based system just is not feasible, in Apple's eyes.

    Or would this be considered forced obsolescence? 🤣
    dewmekurai_kagewilliamlondonjose8964watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    Of course they'll drop support for Intel. The VP is revolutionary, and was no doubt mostly developed on Apple Silicon computers, built to take advantage of Apple M-Series processors' unique code. It's also a high-end product, with a price to match. Allowing developers to sell dated or ported apps on the App Store would not be of merit to the Apple Brand. The most valuable brand in the world; by about $500 billion.
    coolfactordanoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,259member
    emcnair said:
    It wouldn’t surprise me at all that Sonoma is the last OS for Intel machines. Why should Apple put in the additional internal effort or restrict its development path?

    Exactly. Goodbye bloated, non-native apps! Hello pure bliss!

    mayflywilliamlondonjose8964watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,411member
    If Apple follows a timeline similar to the one they followed for the PPC to Intel switchover, shouldn’t we expect to see Apple shipping an Apple Silicon only macOS around the 3-year mark, dropping support for Rosetta 2 around the 5-year mark, and obsoleting the last Intel Macs around the 7-year mark?

    Following precedent is always a defensible strategy, no matter how badly you feel about the expensive machine you bought three years ago. Power PC Mac owners got over it and so will Intel Mac owners.

    Depending on whether they use the date when the Apple Silicon transition kits were made available or the date when the first M1 products were available, or split the difference, I think this would hint that whatever macOS Apple ships in the Fall of 2024 would be a fully defensible target for dropping native Intel support in macOS. Likewise, we should anticipate Rosetta 2 getting the boot from macOS in Fall 2026. 

    Finally, it’s important to recognize that the useful service life of your Mac does not end when your Mac no longer supports the latest version of macOS. Sure, you have to pay attention to security related concerns, but the Mac you bought five years ago is still superb at doing everything you bought it to do at the time and for at least a few years beyond that point. I’m still very happy using my Late 2012 iMac. It’s still my primary platform for running VMs for Intel Windows and Linux operating systems. Still performs as well as it ever did, which is good enough for me.
    edited October 2023 kurai_kagejose8964watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    HonkersHonkers Posts: 156member
    emcnair said:
    It wouldn’t surprise me at all that Sonoma is the last OS for Intel machines. Why should Apple put in the additional internal effort or restrict its development path?
    Because customers who you screw over might not want to be your customers again.
    iOSDevSWEwilliamlondonbyronlelijahg
  • Reply 8 of 15
    maybe Steve Troughton-Smith can sell his machine to iJustine who lusted after this machine 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,530member
    The new M2 Mac Pro is essentially a machine that should not exist.

    Apple fucked up, could not get the M2 Extreme out of the door (or whatever they will end up calling it in the future) and felt they had to release something to meet their end of Intel era.

    I’m sure that next year they’ll have an Apple silicon Mac Pro that deserves both the price tag and the name.

    At that point the 2019 Mac Pro will be 5 years old and indefensible for the average true professional.
    edited October 2023 byronlwilliamlondonelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    dewme said:
    If Apple follows a timeline similar to the one they followed for the PPC to Intel switchover, shouldn’t we expect to see Apple shipping an Apple Silicon only macOS around the 3-year mark, dropping support for Rosetta 2 around the 5-year mark, and obsoleting the last Intel Macs around the 7-year mark?

    Following precedent is always a defensible strategy, no matter how badly you feel about the expensive machine you bought three years ago. Power PC Mac owners got over it and so will Intel Mac owners.

    Depending on whether they use the date when the Apple Silicon transition kits were made available or the date when the first M1 products were available, or split the difference, I think this would hint that whatever macOS Apple ships in the Fall of 2024 would be a fully defensible target for dropping native Intel support in macOS. Likewise, we should anticipate Rosetta 2 getting the boot from macOS in Fall 2026. 

    Finally, it’s important to recognize that the useful service life of your Mac does not end when your Mac no longer supports the latest version of macOS. Sure, you have to pay attention to security related concerns, but the Mac you bought five years ago is still superb at doing everything you bought it to do at the time and for at least a few years beyond that point. I’m still very happy using my Late 2012 iMac. It’s still my primary platform for running VMs for Intel Windows and Linux operating systems. Still performs as well as it ever did, which is good enough for me.
    Past is not always prologue but it's a good start. The last G5 Mac, the iMac G5 was launched in October 2005. Steve Jobs then shocked the industry with the beginning of the Intel transition in January 2006, much earlier than predicted and making the iMac G5 an instant lame duck machine after only 90 days.. That iMac ran 10.4 Tiger and ended with 10.5 Leopard. But unlike now where macOS updates are yearly, Tiger began in April 2005 lasting until October 2007 and Leopard went from October 2007 to August 2009.

    These days the typical life for a Mac in terms of getting macOS updates is about 5-6 years and the Pro towers lasting 8 years from original GA release. The last Intel Macs were the 2019 Mac Pro, the 2020 Macbook Air (April 2020), the 2020 Macbook Pro (May 2020) and the 2020 iMac (August 2020). So all of these machines began on a version of 10.15 Catalina with Big Sur not launching until November 2020 with the first M1 Macbook Air.

    So I could see all of those Intel Macs getting between 1-3 more releases past the most recent Sonoma, which would mean that we'd see a transition away from Intel as early as 2025. I don't think that the current 2019 Mac Pro will get 8 years of updates this time. I also do not think that 2024 is in the cards since I think Apple will tell developers (and customers) a year out when Intel support for new releases will be sunset and despite this note on Vision Pro support, Apple did not indicate a transition schedule during WWDC 2023. I do think Rosetta will stick around longer, perhaps up to 3 additional years to accommodate some older professional apps and plugins.
    edited October 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,530member
    sevenfeet said:
    dewme said:
    If Apple follows a timeline similar to the one they followed for the PPC to Intel switchover, shouldn’t we expect to see Apple shipping an Apple Silicon only macOS around the 3-year mark, dropping support for Rosetta 2 around the 5-year mark, and obsoleting the last Intel Macs around the 7-year mark?

    Following precedent is always a defensible strategy, no matter how badly you feel about the expensive machine you bought three years ago. Power PC Mac owners got over it and so will Intel Mac owners.

    Depending on whether they use the date when the Apple Silicon transition kits were made available or the date when the first M1 products were available, or split the difference, I think this would hint that whatever macOS Apple ships in the Fall of 2024 would be a fully defensible target for dropping native Intel support in macOS. Likewise, we should anticipate Rosetta 2 getting the boot from macOS in Fall 2026. 

    Finally, it’s important to recognize that the useful service life of your Mac does not end when your Mac no longer supports the latest version of macOS. Sure, you have to pay attention to security related concerns, but the Mac you bought five years ago is still superb at doing everything you bought it to do at the time and for at least a few years beyond that point. I’m still very happy using my Late 2012 iMac. It’s still my primary platform for running VMs for Intel Windows and Linux operating systems. Still performs as well as it ever did, which is good enough for me.
    Past is not always prologue but it's a good start. The last G5 Mac, the iMac G5 was launched in October 2005. Steve Jobs then shocked the industry with the beginning of the Intel transition in January 2006, much earlier than predicted and making the iMac G5 an instant lame duck machine after only 90 days.. That iMac ran 10.4 Tiger and ended with 10.5 Leopard. But unlike now where macOS updates are yearly, Tiger began in April 2005 lasting until October 2007 and Leopard went from October 2007 to August 2009.

    These days the typical life for a Mac in terms of getting macOS updates is about 5-6 years and the Pro towers lasting 8 years from original GA release. The last Intel Macs were the 2019 Mac Pro, the 2020 Macbook Air (April 2020), the 2020 Macbook Pro (May 2020) and the 2020 iMac (August 2020). So all of these machines began on a version of 10.15 Catalina with Big Sur not launching until November 2020 with the first M1 Macbook Air.

    So I could see all of those Intel Macs getting between 1-3 more releases past the most recent Sonoma, which would mean that we'd see a transition away from Intel as early as 2025. I don't think that the current 2019 Mac Pro will get 8 years of updates this time. I also do not think that 2024 is in the cards since I think Apple will tell developers (and customers) a year out when Intel support for new releases will be sunset and despite this note on Vision Pro support, Apple did not indicate a transition schedule during WWDC 2023. I do think Rosetta will stick around longer, perhaps up to 3 additional years to accommodate some older professional apps and plugins.
    To this day I’m pissed off that Apple did not release Snow Leopard for PowerPC, especially as they had a working build of it.

    My G5 Quad deserved that final update.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,411member
    sevenfeet said:
    dewme said:
    If Apple follows a timeline similar to the one they followed for the PPC to Intel switchover, shouldn’t we expect to see Apple shipping an Apple Silicon only macOS around the 3-year mark, dropping support for Rosetta 2 around the 5-year mark, and obsoleting the last Intel Macs around the 7-year mark?

    Following precedent is always a defensible strategy, no matter how badly you feel about the expensive machine you bought three years ago. Power PC Mac owners got over it and so will Intel Mac owners.

    Depending on whether they use the date when the Apple Silicon transition kits were made available or the date when the first M1 products were available, or split the difference, I think this would hint that whatever macOS Apple ships in the Fall of 2024 would be a fully defensible target for dropping native Intel support in macOS. Likewise, we should anticipate Rosetta 2 getting the boot from macOS in Fall 2026. 

    Finally, it’s important to recognize that the useful service life of your Mac does not end when your Mac no longer supports the latest version of macOS. Sure, you have to pay attention to security related concerns, but the Mac you bought five years ago is still superb at doing everything you bought it to do at the time and for at least a few years beyond that point. I’m still very happy using my Late 2012 iMac. It’s still my primary platform for running VMs for Intel Windows and Linux operating systems. Still performs as well as it ever did, which is good enough for me.
    Past is not always prologue but it's a good start. The last G5 Mac, the iMac G5 was launched in October 2005. Steve Jobs then shocked the industry with the beginning of the Intel transition in January 2006, much earlier than predicted and making the iMac G5 an instant lame duck machine after only 90 days.. That iMac ran 10.4 Tiger and ended with 10.5 Leopard. But unlike now where macOS updates are yearly, Tiger began in April 2005 lasting until October 2007 and Leopard went from October 2007 to August 2009.

    These days the typical life for a Mac in terms of getting macOS updates is about 5-6 years and the Pro towers lasting 8 years from original GA release. The last Intel Macs were the 2019 Mac Pro, the 2020 Macbook Air (April 2020), the 2020 Macbook Pro (May 2020) and the 2020 iMac (August 2020). So all of these machines began on a version of 10.15 Catalina with Big Sur not launching until November 2020 with the first M1 Macbook Air.

    So I could see all of those Intel Macs getting between 1-3 more releases past the most recent Sonoma, which would mean that we'd see a transition away from Intel as early as 2025. I don't think that the current 2019 Mac Pro will get 8 years of updates this time. I also do not think that 2024 is in the cards since I think Apple will tell developers (and customers) a year out when Intel support for new releases will be sunset and despite this note on Vision Pro support, Apple did not indicate a transition schedule during WWDC 2023. I do think Rosetta will stick around longer, perhaps up to 3 additional years to accommodate some older professional apps and plugins.
    Makes sense. If Apple keeps Intel support around longer than they did with the PPC->Intel transition, that's not a problem for anyone other than Apple. As long as they can properly support macOS natively on Intel, let 'em at it. I do think they'll start selectively cutting back on which newly developed features get native support on Intel versions, as they've already started to do, and most recently with Apple only supporting Vision Pro development on Apple Silicon Macs.

    Everything they have done up to now in terms of completing the Apple Silicon transition seems fairly reasonable, with some caveats reserved for the former Mac Pro and 27" iMacs. The Apple Silicon Mac Pro does come across as somewhat of an exercise in checking-the-box, i.e., a way to allow Apple to claim done-done status on the Apple Silicon transition. Can you really say "stick a fork in it - it's done" on the transition when the formerly readily available and popular 27" iMacs are nowhere to be found and the Mac Pro is more niche than ever? Apple has never fully explained whether the larger iMacs are gone forever or simply being "reimagined" in a way that could not be done during the Apple Silicon transition period? 

    I personally prefer the Mac Studio + separate display over the 27" iMacs, even after owning two previous iMacs. But I suspect a fair number of Apple customers still love their all-in-one 27" screened iMacs. 

    Anyway you look at it, native Intel support in macOS is well into the sunset stage of its life. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,350moderator
    byronl said:
    that’s kinda crazy. imagine buying a 50k Mac Pro in 2019 and not be able to develop on it, for a platform the same company makes, just four years later… 
    Someone who spends $50k on a Mac Pro for development isn't budgeting properly. That spec of Mac Pro is meant for visual effects work. Most developers use Macbook Pros and likely already upgraded to Apple Silicon because it performs much better.

    It also doesn't obsolete the Mac Pro, it just means not being able to build a particular target bundle on it, the code can be written on it and the build made on a $600 Mac mini. That's how a lot of developers work, some even develop using Linux and have a mini compile for Mac.

    If someone was making a game in an engine like Unity or Unreal, they can build, run, debug it on the Mac Pro in the engine and just build the Apple Vision Pro target on the mini.
    williamlondonFidonet127watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    byronlbyronl Posts: 365member
    byronl said:
    that’s kinda crazy. imagine buying a 50k Mac Pro in 2019 and not be able to develop on it, for a platform the same company makes, just four years later… 

    The Vision Pro didn't exist in 2019, at least not in the public domain, so purchasing decisions based on what was coming in 4 years are completely irrelevant.

    Do you make technology purchasing decisions today based on four years from now? The best we can hope for is continued compatibility, and clearly the Vision Pro has such high technical requirements, compiling on an Intel-based system just is not feasible, in Apple's eyes.

    Or would this be considered forced obsolescence? 🤣
    It did exist. They’ve been working on it for the past 8 years. I think Mike Rockwell said it.

     Also they made the developer beta work on Intel up until now…
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    saarek said:
    sevenfeet said:
    dewme said:
    If Apple follows a timeline similar to the one they followed for the PPC to Intel switchover, shouldn’t we expect to see Apple shipping an Apple Silicon only macOS around the 3-year mark, dropping support for Rosetta 2 around the 5-year mark, and obsoleting the last Intel Macs around the 7-year mark?

    Following precedent is always a defensible strategy, no matter how badly you feel about the expensive machine you bought three years ago. Power PC Mac owners got over it and so will Intel Mac owners.

    Depending on whether they use the date when the Apple Silicon transition kits were made available or the date when the first M1 products were available, or split the difference, I think this would hint that whatever macOS Apple ships in the Fall of 2024 would be a fully defensible target for dropping native Intel support in macOS. Likewise, we should anticipate Rosetta 2 getting the boot from macOS in Fall 2026. 

    Finally, it’s important to recognize that the useful service life of your Mac does not end when your Mac no longer supports the latest version of macOS. Sure, you have to pay attention to security related concerns, but the Mac you bought five years ago is still superb at doing everything you bought it to do at the time and for at least a few years beyond that point. I’m still very happy using my Late 2012 iMac. It’s still my primary platform for running VMs for Intel Windows and Linux operating systems. Still performs as well as it ever did, which is good enough for me.
    Past is not always prologue but it's a good start. The last G5 Mac, the iMac G5 was launched in October 2005. Steve Jobs then shocked the industry with the beginning of the Intel transition in January 2006, much earlier than predicted and making the iMac G5 an instant lame duck machine after only 90 days.. That iMac ran 10.4 Tiger and ended with 10.5 Leopard. But unlike now where macOS updates are yearly, Tiger began in April 2005 lasting until October 2007 and Leopard went from October 2007 to August 2009.

    These days the typical life for a Mac in terms of getting macOS updates is about 5-6 years and the Pro towers lasting 8 years from original GA release. The last Intel Macs were the 2019 Mac Pro, the 2020 Macbook Air (April 2020), the 2020 Macbook Pro (May 2020) and the 2020 iMac (August 2020). So all of these machines began on a version of 10.15 Catalina with Big Sur not launching until November 2020 with the first M1 Macbook Air.

    So I could see all of those Intel Macs getting between 1-3 more releases past the most recent Sonoma, which would mean that we'd see a transition away from Intel as early as 2025. I don't think that the current 2019 Mac Pro will get 8 years of updates this time. I also do not think that 2024 is in the cards since I think Apple will tell developers (and customers) a year out when Intel support for new releases will be sunset and despite this note on Vision Pro support, Apple did not indicate a transition schedule during WWDC 2023. I do think Rosetta will stick around longer, perhaps up to 3 additional years to accommodate some older professional apps and plugins.
    To this day I’m pissed off that Apple did not release Snow Leopard for PowerPC, especially as they had a working build of it.

    My G5 Quad deserved that final update.
    Your G5 Quad would have melted from its own heat 5 years ago. That's why they were never able to put it in a laptop.
    watto_cobra
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