Just yesterday, we put out a post highlighting the fact that Apple has victoriously delivered on its claims and promises with the new Macbook Air, Macbook Pro and Mac Mini that all contain the new Apple-made M1 silicon inside. Sure, I had to point out the failings of the mobile apps Apple flaunted at their launch event for these machines, but that was really just to make myself feel a bit better about the fact that Android apps on Chromebooks are still hit-or-miss when it comes to real world use.
Other than that hiccup, however, Apple’s jump to ARM-based chips in their new Macs is a big move that is already impressing even people like me who aren’t really Apple fans. I’ve got a post coming together about why this whole move is such a big deal for the laptop industry as a whole – including Chromebooks – but I’ll hold back for now. What you need to know about this entire development is the fact that Apple is now 100% in charge of the internals in all their devices and the move didn’t come with very many drawbacks at all from a performance standpoint.
Chrome is now available and optimized for Apple’s M1 chip
One gripe we heard in nearly every new Macbook review was the fact that Safari felt fast and smooth while Chrome was a bit slow. This stemmed from the fact that – for obvious reasons – Safari was already optimized for the new ARM-based M1 chip while Chrome was running through the Rosetta 2 emulation engine Apple has in place for software not yet built for Apple’s new silicon.
While Rosetta 2 does impressively well for many applications, the complexity of Chrome clearly didn’t play along. Watching those reviews, I silently wondered how long it would take Google to respond given the fact that big development houses like Adobe still have big-name software like Photoshop that won’t be fully M1-optimized until 2021. As it turns out, not long at all. As was probably the plan all along, Chrome 87’s big performance gains don’t just get handed down to those using x86 Intel or AMD laptops: it was set to hit Apple’s M1 devices, too.
There was a little hiccup, but the new version of Chrome is available now and some users are seeing an automatic update for Chrome on M1 Macs that will simply install and transition over to the right version for your Mac. Whether you are updating or installing it fresh, Chrome for M1 Macbooks should improve performance a great deal. Not only are users getting some of the core Chrome updates that are speeding things up for all users, they are also getting a version of the browser that is built and coded specifically for the ARM silicon inside the brand new Mac.
While this doesn’t affect a ton of users just yet, it won’t be long before lots of M1 Macs are out in the wild and if you are Google, you don’t want to be left out of that conversation. Chrome is awesome because it is so widely available across basically every platform you can imagine. Seeing Google step up and get a proper version of Chrome out the door right on the heels of the release of this new generation of Macs is a great sign that Google still cares about speed and performance with Chrome. Now we’re just waiting for some of that performance boost over here on the Chrome OS side. Next week!