After such a momentous 2020 for the Mac, it was exhausting for 2021 to measure up. However with the Apple silicon transition nicely underway, the query stays: What does the Mac’s 2022 have in retailer? Excellent news, pal. You’re studying a column about the place the Mac goes in 2022. Let’s get to predicting the longer term.
Finish of the transition
In mid-2020, Apple introduced that the Mac’s Apple silicon transition would final two years. Then it started the transition within the fall of 2020. Doing a little bit of fast math right here, that certain implies that Apple will full the transition in 2022.
Not a lot of a prediction, is it? However the fact is, Apple–as nearly everybody else–has been examined by the results of the COVID pandemic. Provide-chain woes are limiting Apple’s capacity to ship merchandise, and stories recommend that this fall’s MacBook Professional launch was supposed to occur over the summer time.
Nonetheless, I’m predicting that Apple goes to get it collectively and full the transition away from Intel processors in 2022. And I imply full: Each Mac mannequin that’s main a product class will run on Apple silicon.
Meaning the Mac Professional, the high-end Mac mini, and the 27-inch iMac will all get replaced with Apple silicon fashions. Yep, that’s going to occur. (My solely slight hedge right here is that I feel Apple may hold the Intel-based Mac Professional round–however it’ll be buried and actually solely there for establishments who desperately want one other Intel Mac Professional to go together with their current set up and run their legacy software program and growth playing cards.)
Professional Macs and iMacs
Because of the MacBook Professional, 2021 was an enormous yr for professional Macs. However 2022 can be even higher. The Apple Silicon Mac Professional is coming, and whereas will probably be smaller than the present mannequin, it’ll be super-powered by a number of M1 Max processors.
There have been stories that Apple is engaged on techniques that may use not only one M1 Max chip, however two or 4 of them related collectively. I feel these stories are going to come back true and high-end Mac customers will have the ability to purchase a Mac Professional powered by as much as 4 M1 Max chips–in different phrases, 40 CPU cores and 128 GPU cores. (Clearly, that would be the highest-end configuration and break the bank.)
With as much as 128 GPU cores within the new Mac Professional, Apple will really feel extra assured in one other main transfer: the brand new Mac Professional can have room for cooling and for inner growth for storage and enter/output, however it gained’t provide assist for exterior graphics playing cards. It’s Apple’s GPUs or bust.
For Apple’s goal professional markets, the high-end MacBook Professional is already a formidable software with quite a lot of custom-built enhancements for issues comparable to ProRes video encoding and decoding. Think about a Mac Professional with 4 occasions the ability. That’s going to make an terrible lot of individuals joyful.
I’m additionally predicting that Apple will launch an iMac Professional–particularly, the brand new 27-inch iMac, which I believe goes to be given a brand new title and remit. The brand new, bigger iMac can be redesigned just like the 24-inch M1 mannequin however will embody a elaborate mini-LED show with a ProMotion display–consider the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Professional screens, however on a 27-inch iMac. This iMac Professional can be provided with the identical chip configurations because the MacBook Professional, however I ponder if there can be an ultra-high-end mannequin that may run with twin M1 Max chips. I additionally wouldn’t be shocked if Apple presents a base mannequin that makes use of the identical outdated M1 processor discovered within the 24-inch iMac, or maybe a barely up to date M2 processor.
That prime-end Mac mini additionally has to go. And it’ll, changed with a brand new Mac mini that may are available in house grey and provide energy extra according to the late-2021 MacBook Professional fashions. Except Apple renames it the Mac mini Professional, it should make the Mac mini the primary Mac mannequin to be out there in all three totally different chip configurations–M1, M1 Professional, and M1 Max.
The MacBook Professional was the Mac laptop computer story of 2021, however in 2022 the pendulum will swing again to the MacBook Air. The primary Apple silicon Mac to get a revision would be the Air, which can get a brand new M2 processor, a brand new look, and an iMac-like array of shade choices. (Sure, lastly, in 2022 you’ll have the ability to purchase a blue laptop computer!)
Lastly, to the delight of professional Mac customers in every single place, I predict that Apple will launch at the least one new standalone show that may be plugged into your Mac Professional, MacBook Professional, or Mac mini. It’s exhausting to think about that mini LED expertise and ProMotion wouldn’t be supported in that show. And I predict that it gained’t value something close to what the extremely costly Professional Show XDR prices.
The squeaky wheel will get the grease. I’m certain WWDC bulletins in 2022 can be dominated by a bunch of recent options that stretch throughout iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS. However on the Mac entrance, it looks like many of the work might want to go into Shortcuts. In spite of everything, with the Apple silicon transition accomplished, Apple will simply be coming into the second yr of its years-long transition to a brand new strategy to automation on the Mac.
With Shortcuts now out there in macOS Monterey, I predict that one aim of macOS 13 can be to convey Shortcuts assist to Apple’s different apps. Again within the outdated days, Apple’s personal apps had been supposed to be good examples of Apple’s core applied sciences, however during the last decade-plus, assist for automation has pale away. Maybe the largest increase Apple can provide to Shortcuts is to make sure that all its apps, each included and within the App Retailer, are capable of be automated at a deep stage. And that begins with Shortcuts assist.