EverWeb, macOS Big Sur and Apple Silicon

January 21st, 2021

For Apple, 2020 was the year that the company broke with chip provider Intel with the introduction of Apple Silicon and the new M1 microprocessor chip in the 13″ MacBook Air, 13″MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini.

What impact does the move to Apple Silicon, and the introduction of macOS Big Sur, have on EverWeb? Find out below…

It’s Not The First Time…

This is not the first time that Apple has changed microchip providers for its hardware. It is actually the third time that Apple has changed the Central Processing Unit (CPU) architecture of its hardware. In 2005, Apple announced it was transitioning its hardware from PowerPC to Intel and before that, in 1996, it transitioned from the Motorola 68000 platform to the PowerPC platform.

Any change in the microprocessor architecture means that the Operating System software, and the applications that the OS runs, will also need to be reconfigured in order to be compatible with the new, underlying, hardware.

Why the Need for Change?

For Apple the reasons for transitioning to the new Apple Silicon architecture are clear. Its laptop, desktop and server offerings can leverage from the the same basic architecture that is found in iPhones and iPads. This makes integration and synergy between iOS an macOS a lot easier and seamless. The second reason is that Apple now has more end to end control, making both hardware and software more efficient in the process. We can already see this in the computational and speed improvements in the new M1 chip which takes CPU architecture to the next level of development. There is also the benefit of cost savings for Apple due to economies of scale as now its hardware uses the same basic CPUs in all its products. Lastly, the delay of new processors from Intel over the last few years has caused product delays for Apple, and Intel now lags behind its more agile competitors in the market.

Intel, Apple Silicon and macOS Big Sur

Apple has set itself the goal for the transition from Intel to Apple Silicon to be within two years. This is the same time frame as the switch from PowerPC to Intel. It is reassuring to know that this transition is achievable and should be relatively painless given Apple’s past experience of doing this.

The stage for the hardware transition has already been set with the introduction three Apple Silicon computers and the introduction of macOS Big Sur which runs on both Intel and on Apple Silicon architectures. In addition, macOS Big Sur now starts to take design cues from iOS and iPadOS again, helping Apple to further integrate their product ecosystem.

The two year product transition gives Apple time to update all its hardware to use Apple Silicon and gives software vendors time to repurpose their apps to be Apple Silicon compatible.

EverWeb 3.4 is fully compatible with macOS Big Sur on Intel machines. So what about compatibility with Apple Silicon? To understand how EverWeb works under Apple Silicon, let’s start with a bit of transition history…

Enter Rosetta and Rosetta 2

When Apple transitioned from PowerPC to Intel chips, it introduced a program called Rosetta. This program acted as a ‘Compatibility Box’ enabling apps designed for the old PowerPC architecture to run on the new Intel architecture.

Rosetta was very much a success for Apple, so it has leveraged this success and experience for the transition from Intel to Apple Silicon with the introduction of Rosetta 2. If you use EverWeb on an Apple Silicon computer, it will work through Rosetta 2 which will automatically ‘translate’ EverWeb from Intel to Apple Silicon. You probably will not even notice any difference using EverWeb under Apple Silicon as Apple years of experience in optimizing Rosetta make it work smoothly for most apps that need translating.

After installing EverWeb on your Apple Silicon based computer, when you first run the app, you may be asked to install Rosetta in order for EverWeb to run. If you have previously installed Rosetta on your computer, you will not see this message and EverWeb should launch as usual.

EverWeb as a Universal App

In summary:

  • EverWeb 3.4 and higher is fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite thru to macOS 11 Big Sur.
  • EverWeb 3.4 and higher will run on Apple Silicon computers through Rosetta 2* running on macOS 11 Big Sur.
  • EverWeb 3.1 is available if you are running Mac OS X 10.7 – 10.9.
  • EverWeb 2.5.2 is available if you are running Mac OS X 10.6.

* In the future we will be releasing EverWeb as a Universal app. This means that EverWeb will support both Apple Silicon and Intel processors, using Apple Silicon as the default. As such, EverWeb will then run natively on Apple Silicon without the need to use Rosetta.

We will, of course, keep the EverWeb community reprised as to our progress in making EverWeb a Universal App.

If you have any questions about this article, please let us know in the Comments Section below. We’re here to help!

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