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Apple WWDC: Developers can order Arm-powered Mac Mini starting this week

Apple announced it will transition from Intel chips to new Apple silicon, and developers can get started testing with a new Mac Mini kit.

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- 01:19
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This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple's annual developers conference.

Apple's virtual Worldwide Developers Conference for 2020 started Monday, and while it was a given the online-only WWDC would bring updates to the company's operating systems such as iOS 14, new hardware announcements are rare. This year, though, we got news about Apple's home-grown processor, an Arm-based variant of chips like its A13 Bionic that's intended to run MacOS instead of iOS or iPadOS like its iPhones and iPads. A new Mac Mini desktop for developers will be available this week running Apple's A12Z processor so devs can start changing over their apps to run on the new processors.

Apple's new chips promise to use less power while delivering the highest performance for the Mac, just as its in-house mobile processors have done for the iPhone and iPad. The Developer Transition Kit will include a Mac Mini powered by the A12Z processor, a 64-bit ARM-based system-on-a-chip designed by Apple and found in the current iPad Pro. The kit will also have 16GB of memory and 512GB SSD for storage with a developer beta version of the company's upcoming MacOS Big Sur, plus Xcode. 

There will be a complete family of SoCs to run Mac laptops and desktops. Software like Microsoft's Office suite and Adobe's Creative Cloud will be able to run on both Intel- and Apple silicon-based Macs using Rosetta 2. Apple also said Apple silicon-based Macs will be able to run iPadOS and iOS apps natively.

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