Popular apps go native on Apple Silicon

Zoom, Microsoft, Google, Linux, and popular Open Source apps such as VLC have recently debuted native support for Apple Silicon (aka M1).

Last week, Open Source Linux security vendor Corellium, which offers a virtualized version of iOS for security testing, announced its successful port of Ubuntu Linux to Apple’s M1-based Mac.

Late last month, Zoom led the big application providers by introducing M1 support as part of its Zoom v5.4.7 release.

Microsoft soon followed, saying its new “Universal” Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote apps for the Mac will work on Apple’s M1 Arm silicon as well as on Intel SoCs, reported “Microsoft Watcher” Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet.

Google quietly announced native M1 support as part of a Jan. 13 Google Drive documentation update, which stated: “Google Drive for desktop will support Apple M1 devices when version 47.0 is released in April.” Earlier, Google had added M1 support to its Chrome browser at the end of last year, but its initial offering required the use of Apple’s Rosetta 2 translator.

VLC introduced M1 support as part of a major update to its popular open source VLC media player. The update should enable owners of Apple’s new M1-based Macs to use VLC at full performance, rather requiring them to run VLC using emulation via the Rosetta 2 translator. The new M1-compatible VLC release reportedly has been downloaded nearly 10.4 million times since its release January 20.

Codeweavers, well known for its popular CrossOver software for cross-platform compatibility, began offering customers the ability to run Windows software on the Apple M1 in November. In a blog post CEO and Founder Jeremy White described his experience of running Crossover on a new, M1-based Apple Laptop a few months ago.

With Apple shipping systems with Arm-based Apple silicon in Nov. 2020, and other major players increasingly announcing Arm-based customized chip designs and license deals, the transition to Arm is shaping up to be the next major shift in the tech industry.


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