Except for two years, I have been going to WWDC since 1986, and this year was definitely one I will remember for a long time – both because I never left my home and because the Apple engineers I met, both in virtual meetings and in forum posts, were incredibly helpful. At past WWDCs, it has often been really difficult to find an Apple engineer with expertise in a given field. In the past, at the end of the conference, I often didn’t have all the answers I was looking for.
This year was so different. My meetings were attended by four Apple engineers, not just one. All of them are experts in their field and provided concrete solutions to all of my questions. They also gave me enough information to ensure our products are compatible not just with macOS 11, but also with the OS releases planned for 2021 and 2022.
Obviously, part of preparing for macOS 11 is adding support for the Apple silicon processor, which will be replacing the current Intel processor over the next two years. I ordered the prototype Mac mini with the Apple silicon within five minutes of when the order web site went live. Whenever I order an Apple product, I always love tracking it as it comes from the factory, often halfway around the world, and look forward each day, to the moment it gets delivered. Now I am in that same place, tracking the new Mac mini with Apple silicon as it travels to our Mac software development office in California. I know this Mac mini will allow us to ship compatible versions of all our software products, including their drivers, before Apple ships the first Mac with Apple silicon.
We have already been contacted by developers with these test Mac minis who are looking for native applications and drivers. Given that we were approached by some of these developers before Apple shipped the first Mac minis with Apple silicon, I would bet that some of them actually work for Apple. These developers will help us beta test each of our products as we convert them to native code and allow us to ship these new versions in the next few months. It is indeed an exciting time to be a Mac developer, especially with such an incredible team, like the people I work with at OWC.