Apple has begun its major transition from Intel Macs to Apple silicon based Macs. The transition will reportedly take around two years – during which developers are to port their apps to the new platform. The company will also be refining its new chips in the meantime to make them compete with Intel’s offerings.
The first Apple silicon based Mac will release in the fall of 2020. However, all the developers will not be able to port their apps to the new CPU architecture, so Apple created Rosetta 2 – an emulation technology.
Rosetta 2 will allow consumers that dab into the new Macs to use all their favorite apps without any major problems. Of course, emulation is never as good as using native applications but it is a good short-term solution.
Apple’s documentation on Rosetta reads, “Rosetta is a translation process that allows users to run apps that contain x86_64 instructions on Apple silicon. Rosetta is meant to ease the transition to Apple silicon, giving you time to create a universal binary for your app. It is not a substitute for creating a native version of your app.”
“To the user, Rosetta is mostly transparent. If an executable contains only Intel instructions, macOS automatically launches Rosetta and begins the translation process,” adds Apple’s document on Rosetta. “When translation finishes, the system launches the translated executable in place of the original. However, the translation process takes time, so users might perceive that translated apps launch or run more slowly at times.”
The transition from Intel to ARM based Macs is a long process but a worthy one. ARM chips will improve Macs battery efficiency and allow Apple to create new form factor devices. On top of that, Rosetta 2 makes sure that consumers are not hurt during the process in any way.