Apple has finally moved from depending on Intel for its processors to creating its own System-on-a-Chip (SoC) hardware known as Apple Silicon or Apple M1 Chip. The M1 Chipset revealed at Apple’s ‘One More Thing’ event on November 10, 2020, is Apple’s move to deliver superior performance and power management capabilities to their mobile devices. This first-generation chip from the Cupertino giant delivers the best performance yet on Apple’s Mac models without compromising on the power needs.
The new Apple M1 chip is loaded with an 8-core CPU with 4 Performance Cores and 4 Efficiency Cores that work together to ensure high optimal performance under all kinds of workloads. An integrated 8-core GPU transforms your personal computer into a top-level graphics machine that outdoes even the latest PC laptop chip on performance and power. There is a 16-core Neutral Engine ideally suited for Machine Learning tasks that can execute up to 11 trillion operations per second.
Up until now, Apple Mac computers needed multiple chips to deliver its features for an amazing user experience. With the Apple M1, the entire system including the processor, I/O, security, and memory are combined into one single SoC that delivers incredible performance with high power efficiency.
The new macOS Big Sur has been designed to work seamlessly with the Apple M1 chip to give users the taste of the latest desktop operating system. With advanced power management features that split tasks intelligently between the performance and efficiency cores of the Apple M1 processor, the newest operating system gives users a smooth and performance-efficient working experience.
All apps made by Apple are optimized to work on the M1 chip. Some of the best Mac apps that support the M1 processor include Final Cut Pro, Microsoft Office, and Cinema 4D. Since Apple is moving away from the x86-64 architecture on the Intel chips to an ARM64 architecture, apps have to transition to the new architecture. This may take time but some of the best Mac apps have already created Universal apps that work on both the Intel-based and Apple M1-based Mac computers.
What is Rosetta 2?
Rosetta 2 is an emulator that helps in running the Mac apps that have x86-64 instructions on the new Mac models with the Apple M1 Chip. It is a translation process that makes it possible to run the apps that do not have native support on the newest M1 chip. Since it is an emulator, the performance might be a bit slow when it is performing its translation process.
The translation process runs in the back end and hence is not visible to the user. Rosetta 2 gives Mac app developers time to create native apps that run on Apple Silicon. It is, however, not a substitute for the native apps. Developers cannot rely on users to keep running their apps on Rosetta 2 because there is no guarantee on how long the emulator will be available. Hence, it is prudent for app developers to update their apps for native support on the Apple M1 chip.
Best Mac Apps for M1 Chipset
Mac apps deliver powerful performances combined with power efficiency to boost the user experience on Apple M1-powered Mac devices. The highly-integrated chipset from Apple designed to deliver a breathtaking user experience breathes new life into the apps, making them faster and more powerful. Along with the new macOS Big Sur that is built from the ground up to take full advantage of the capabilities of the M1 chipset, users are guaranteed a strikingly improved performance on the best Mac apps.
1. Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro is Apple’s own powerful video editing app with incredible professional features for an efficient media organization, compelling performance and effects, audio editing, color grading, and optimized output. The improved proxy workflows, the ability to transcode to full-resolution media, and machine learning tools make it a revolutionary tool for video editing.
Final Cut Pro is available as a native app for Mac computers running on the Apple M1 chipset. This enables it to tap into the improved power and performance abilities of the M1 chip on the newest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13” models.
On MacBook Air with the M1 chip, Final Cut Pro can render complex timelines up to 6 times faster and it can stream 8K videos without problems on the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The best part about using Final Cut Pro is the professional-grade video editing experience it brings to its regular and power users.
Final Cut Pro is available on the Mac App Store.
2. Adobe Photoshop
Be it editing photos, animation, or graphics design, Adobe Photoshop is one of the most trusted apps to do it all. You can make your stunning photographs pop with colors and make them more expressive. With the various features that create magical effects, you can turn your photos into imaginative works of art.
Adobe is bringing the Photoshop app to Apple Silicon devices by including native support for it in early 2021. This has been confirmed by the Adobe team who are also planning to continue support for the Intel-based Mac computers.
One of the best Mac apps for photo-editing used by photographers and designers, Adobe Photoshop has an intuitive user interface, a wide range of design tools, and an ever-growing community of creative artists around the globe.
3. Parallels Desktop
Parallels Desktop lets you create a Virtual Machine (VM) for running another operating system on your Mac without the need to reboot the computer. You can run your Windows programs without slowing down your Mac computer. The Parallels Desktop app allows you to quickly and easily move files, folders, and more between your Mac and the Virtual Machine.
A new version of Parallels Desktop for Mac computers running on the Apple M1 chip is under active development and will be soon available as a Universal app. This will make the app compatible with both Apple Silicon-based and Intel-based Mac models.
The best feature of Parallels Desktop is the easy ability to navigate between different operating systems running on the Mac. You can even add to the Mac Touch Bar your Windows application that will give you instant access to launching your virtual operating system copy.
There are 3 editions of Parallels Desktop – Standard, Pro, and Business. The Standard Edition costs $79.99 per year while the Pro and Business Editions cost $99.99 per year. You can make use of the 14-day free trial before upgrading to one of the three editions of your choice.
4. Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office with its core apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook has become indispensable for almost all Windows users. They are also used extensively by Mac users who have made their transition from Windows. The greater levels of productivity and collaboration allowed by Microsoft Office apps make them a key requirement for individuals and enterprises.
Microsoft was among the first teams to start building Universal apps for their products. The company is rolling out a beta release of the Universal build of Mac Office 2019. This release is available for users picking up their Mac computers with the Apple M1 chip. The public release of the Universal build is expected to arrive at the end of the year or in early 2021.
5. DaVinci Resolve
An all-in-one professional free video editing for Mac that combines 8K editing, color correction, visual effects, audio post-production, and more – DaVinci Resolve gives you the power of multiple apps in one. The interface makes it easy to access and use all the tools, making work faster. The app has a very good learning curve that makes it suitable for both new users and professionals.
Blackmagic Design, the company behind DaVinci Resolve has released a beta version of their Universal app that supports Apple M1-powered devices. The DaVinci Resolve 17.1 makes efficient use of CPU and GPU processing to give an improved performance experience for its users.
DaVinci Resolve is available for free for Mac. You can download it from the official website here.
6. Autodesk AutoCAD
The popular computer-aided design (CAD) software for engineers, architects, and construction planners, Autodesk AutoCAD has been helping people to imagine, design, and create 2D and 3D drawings for industry-specific needs. With extended workflows providing more features including multiple device support and shared views, your drawing, modeling, and visualization can be brought to life with all the details.
Autodesk AutoCAD is expected to announce native support for the Apple M1 chip devices. The Universal build for the app will make it easier for M1-enabled Mac users to enjoy the performance gains of the commercial CAD and drafting application.
Autodesk AutoCAD costs $210 monthly, $1690 per year, and $4565 for three years. You can download the free trial of the software to try it before upgrading to a paid plan.
7. Cinema 4D
A perfect package for 3D artists looking for great results for their work, Cinema 4D makes it a blast for both beginners and professionals to take advantage of the wide range of tools available to create stunning 3D projects. The intuitive interface makes the app easy to use and the numerous available tutorials give a good understanding of the operation.
Maxon Cinema 4D is the first professional 3D animation app to be available on M1-powered Mac devices. The new M1 chipset will give high speed and efficiency gains for 3D artists in their creative process running the Cinema 4D software. Cinema 4D is available for a monthly price of $94 and an annual price of $719.
8. Affinity Photo
Built for professionals, Affinity Photo is packed with tools to give you a faster, smoother, and seamless photo editing experience on the Mac. The many strong features of the photo editor including PSD import and export, 60fps live editing, unlimited layers, filters, focus merge, and photo stitching makes it a great choice for editing your photos. Be it a quick retouching or a complex art with lots of layers, you will find the tools needed to perform the edits with Affinity Photo.
The huge toolset provided by the software is geared towards professionals who have the need to deep dive into their editing process to create stunning images with attention to detail and precision. As you work with the latest macOS Big Sur 11, you will find that the software is fully-integrated for use with the newest Mac operating system. The breathtaking Affinity brush engine with its huge collection of brushes and the ability to create custom brushes that give a striking and natural painting experience deserves a special mention. One of the best free photo editors for Mac, you can try the free trial of Affinity Photo before committing to the purchase of the software.
9. Clean My Mac X (Rosetta 2 Translation)
The all-in-one cleaning package of Clean My Mac X allows you to monitor and remove excess junk from your Mac computer so that you can ensure the optimum performance of your Mac device at all times. This one tool can replace a lot of optimization tools needed for Mac to shave off excess and unwanted junk present in iTunes, Photos, Mail, and other hidden places. Remove caches that are outdated, logs, and broken downloads that take up unwanted space. Keep viruses off your Mac computer when you perform cleaning of your device. An updated database of malware lets Clean My Mac X delete any known virus when it comes across one.
With the introduction of the Apple M1 processor, Clean My Mac X is yet to release a Universal build for their app to work on both Intel and M1 versions of Mac computers. Up until the development team releases a Universal app, you can use Rosetta 2 to use Clean My Mac X on your M1-powered device. Rosetta 2 gives users the ability to clean their computers with the existing version of the app without having to wait for the release of the native app. However, once the Universal build of the app is released, users can enjoy the additional performance benefits that come with the powerful M1 chipset.
You can avail of the free trial to try out the app before committing to a plan upgrade.
These are the best Mac apps for the Apple M1 chip. Many of them are used widely by Mac users in their daily use that makes it more important for these apps to have Universal builds. As more and more apps begin to get native support for the new Apple chipset, users will begin to experience huge improvements in their processing speeds and efficiency, making the user experience truly sensational.