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Apple's $500 Developer Program Includes Tools and Resources for Transitioning to Apple Silicon, Plus a Loaner A12Z-Based Mac Mini

mi7chy

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
6,794
7,791
They didn't say all hardware used in the demo was A12Z powered, so obviously they were using more advanced processors elsewhere in the demo. Apple is the master of such sleight of hand ;)

I was trying to trace where the monitor connects to the box but it was hidden. Showing the box, even if it's the dev kit, would've given it more validity vs hiding it.
 
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shplock

macrumors 6502
Dec 25, 2015
335
309
Somewhere in a Galaxy far far away


To help developers prepare for the Mac transition from Intel processors to Apple Silicon, Apple has launched a Universal App Quick Start Program, which "includes all the tools, resources, and support you need to build, test, and optimize your next-generation Universal apps for macOS Big Sur."


The program requires a brief application, with limited availability and priority for developers with an existing macOS application. The program costs $500 and includes access to beta software, developer labs, private discussion forum, technical support, and other resources.

On the hardware side, participants will receive exclusive access to a Developer Transition Kit (DTK), which resembles a Mac mini but uses Apple's A12Z Bionic chip from the latest iPad Pro as its brains. In addition to the A12Z Bionic, the DTK includes 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, a pair of 10 Gbps USB-C ports, a pair of 5 Gbps USB-A ports, and an HDMI 2.0 port. Thunderbolt 3 support is not included.

On the communications side, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and Gigabit Ethernet are also supported. An FCC filing for the DTK reveals that it carries an Apple model number of A2330, which was the lone new Mac model number that appeared in the Eurasian Economic Commission's database earlier this month.

Notably, the DTK remains the property of Apple and must be returned at the conclusion of the program. Participants must also agree to a number of restrictions against tearing the machine down, using it for work other than development related to the program, or renting or leasing it out.

The Universal App Quick Start Program is similar to one Apple launched for the transition from PowerPC chips to Intel processors back in 2005. In that case, the program cost was $999 and participants were provided with loaner machines based on the Power Mac G5. As with the new DTK machines, those Macs also had to be returned at the end of the program, although Apple did provide participants with a free first-generation Intel iMac upon returning the developer kit as bonus.

Apple has made no promise of a similar bonus this time, so it remains to be seen whether program participants will get any hardware to keep.

Article Link: Apple's $500 Developer Program Includes Tools and Resources for Transitioning to Apple Silicon, Plus a Loaner A12Z-Based Mac Mini

I just wish to say that a couple of days ago most of you were all complaining about how Apple would not be able to pull this off. Most of you were saying that in no way could ARM on Mac work because Adobe apps would not work and virtualisation could never work on an ARM Mac not to mention it would take forever to transition the apps across.
Here we are and it seems like Apple has managed to show they know what they are doing and all those concerns where just plain wrong.
So where are all of you now? Where are the doubters and people with no vision beyond the next second?
Genuine question before any of you complain.
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I purchased a 16-inch MacBook just a few months ago... How long will Apple provide macOS updates for Intel macs? And will apps developed for Apple Silicon work on Intel macs? Honestly not happy about this transition...

Apple said that you will be supported for many years to come. So do not worry you will not have a MacBook that is suddenly obsolete next week. You have many many years left. Panic over.
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No sane production person is going to buy a first-generation ARM mac for anything except curiosity, so the lack of TB3 isn't going to be a deal breaker for Gen1. Down the road it'll be an issue, because storage and other peripherals are using that bandwidth and they'll need a solution.

This is what USB 4 is for. It contains TB3, so no problem there.
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The police knocking???? LMAO

Yes because when the iPhone 4 prototype was left in a bar and found its way to a person's house the police turned up along with apple employees to demand it back.
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So, how are these systems powering a 6K XDR display without TB3?

Because Craig never said they were using Mac minis but that they were using Apple silicon.
 
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fishkorp

Contributor
Apr 10, 2006
2,322
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Ellicott City, MD
I did not, but my last Mac app was pulled about 2 years ago (couldn’t support it any more due to other projects). So I’m honestly not expecting to get approved. Congrats to all that do get accepted.
 
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DesertNomad

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2008
264
443
Nevada
I got mine ordered. Today I did a x86_64 and ARM build of our products with the new Xcode 12 beta and it seemed to work, but I also need to compile a couple libraries and feel like testing it on real hardware is going to be much better than just seeing it compile and not testing it at all. Without this program, my customers would inevitably get an "Apple Silicon" Mac before I do. I also ordered an adapter to hook it to my Apple 30" Cinema Display. Fingers crossed that that works (people claim it works on USB-C MBP systems)
 
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developer13245

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2012
593
811
I just wish to say that a couple of days ago most of you were all complaining about how Apple would not be able to pull this off.

They haven't actually "pulled it off" yet. That remains to be seen.

So where are all of you now? Where are the doubters and people with no vision beyond the next second?
Genuine question before any of you complain.

I remain in the "wait and see" mode, as I've been for some time now. I avoided engaging in any discussion here regarding the rumored transition - mainly because I paused making any investments in supporting Apple platforms (for many other reasons). But my strategy was smart, because I'm still "in the game" - having "Vision" does not mean being a fan boy, but understanding how the future will pan out, and how you will fit in it (or not). However, Apple cannot continue to ignore the indifference many developers have gained toward them, and also those who have just walked away (e.g. pulled apps from their stores).

Apple has communicated a transition plan that sounds reasonable, but they have to execute that plan flawlessly going forward.
As a (small/stealth) developer, I'm basing my decisions almost completely on how reasonable Apple behaves during this time.
As I said in a previous post, Apple is famous for the "They need you right now... but when they don't... they'll cast you out" attitude. So proceed with caution, because they do indeed need developers now.

The DTK program will be the first example of how reasonable they intend to be.

I can easily continue to "sit on the sidelines" while also still being "in the game" during the transition. This is what I call 'Vision'.
 
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CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,102
8,563
San Diego, CA, USA
Didn’t Apple say that the Mac mini’s were used for the presentation and demos? Every single one was using the Apple XDR display....
No, they said that the demos and presentations were running on their new (ARM) processors, but I don't think they said they were specifically running on the developer kit hardware. They could have been running on rather more powerful and more capable machines - keep in mind that since they're going to have at least one ARM Mac for sale before the end of the year, they already have to have some of those newer, faster, chips running in their labs. For the presentation they only have to have a handful of machines working, and those machines can have bits that don't work perfectly, as long as they know which bits to avoid. The developer kit hardware has to be pretty thoroughly debugged, but it doesn't have to be crazy fast, doesn't have to have every interface (i.e. no TB3), doesn't have to have the best graphics hardware. It needs to be something that's stable and that they can build and ship, say, ten thousand of in the near future.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,091
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Seattle, WA
The XDR display should work over USB-C in DisplayPort alternate mode, yes? Of course, it will not be at the full 6016 by 3384 since that needs ~30GBps and the USB-C ports on the DPK are only 10Gbps. So if it does work, it would be at 4K.
 
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JichiZhang

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2020
1
0
Surely someone is gonna benchmark and review the DTK anyway right? Losing $600 for an exclusive like this seems totally worth it. I doubt they can do anything about it other than suspending their developer account in countries like China.
 
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BeatCrazy

macrumors 68020
Jul 20, 2011
2,448
1,171
The XDR display should work over USB-C in DisplayPort alternate mode, yes? Of course, it will not be at the full 6016 by 3384 since that needs ~30GBps and the USB-C ports on the DPK are only 10Gbps. So if it does work, it would be at 4K.

If the GPU supports DSC (Display Stream Compression), there is a 3:1 compression that can jam a 6K signal down a 10Gpbs USB-C interface. People are doing this today the the Pro Display XDR using only a USB-C cable.
 
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developer13245

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2012
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Some developers have been accepted, but not hearing of any rejection notifications? Anybody?
This is turning out to be another "Am I approved or rejected" by Apple **** show.
The program should have discernible acceptance criteria so developers can ascertain their real options instead of waiting for the "hand of God" to touch them (or not). Nothing in the program description describes a notification timeframe for those not accepted. Crickets chime in?
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Or you get called into a meeting with Palmer:

Look, we're not terminating your developer membership..
 
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fishkorp

Contributor
Apr 10, 2006
2,322
112
Ellicott City, MD
Some developers have been accepted, but not hearing of any rejection notifications? Anybody?
This is turning out to be another "Am I approved or rejected" by Apple **** show.
The program should have discernible acceptance criteria so developers can ascertain their real options instead of waiting for the "hand of God" to touch them (or not). Nothing in the program description describes a notification timeframe for those not accepted. Crickets chime in?
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Or you get called into a meeting with Palmer:

Look, we're not terminating your developer membership..
Other than saying preference is given for developers with current Mac apps (and probably for sale in the App Store, not through website), I didn’t see anything. From browsing Twitter last night, even some higher profile devs (that have had multiple featured apps) haven’t gotten notices. So no clue how they’re doing it. Geographic? Sales volume? Random?
 
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DesertNomad

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2008
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443
Nevada
Other than saying preference is given for developers with current Mac apps (and probably for sale in the App Store, not through website), I didn’t see anything. From browsing Twitter last night, even some higher profile devs (that have had multiple featured apps) haven’t gotten notices. So no clue how they’re doing it. Geographic? Sales volume? Random?

We have had Mac apps since 1992, and our flagship product since 2002. We were approved within 24 hours.
 
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developer13245

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2012
593
811
Other than saying preference is given for developers with current Mac apps (and probably for sale in the App Store, not through website), I didn’t see anything. From browsing Twitter last night, even some higher profile devs (that have had multiple featured apps) haven’t gotten notices. So no clue how they’re doing it. Geographic? Sales volume? Random?
We have had Mac apps since 1992, and our flagship product since 2002. We were approved within 24 hours.

Well then, it's just another case of Apple picking winners based on who they "like".
24 hours has become the defacto indication. If an applicant hasn't been approved within that time, they can assume they've been rejected. Time to move on.....

Again, any competent software developer knows that having access to pre-release hardware has a very significant impact on development planning. Pre-release hardware is a HUGE resource. Without the ability to know with some certainty that resource will be available, you will be flying blind until Apple ships commercial units. And you won't even know when that will happen.
Every decision a dev makes THIS week can be very different based on knowing if they will have a DTK next week. If you don't understand this, you don't know jack shoit about software development.
This is just another example of Apple's ignorance of how software development REALLY works. After all, Apple is a hardware company, not a software company.

Apple is already screwing this up.
 
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fishkorp

Contributor
Apr 10, 2006
2,322
112
Ellicott City, MD
To be fair, they said they were limited. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they offer more in later phases. They’ve done that before.

edit:
Years ago I was quite successful in the iOS app store (around ios4 days). I was quickly accepted into numerous things others were not immediately accepted to. But eventually it trickles down. I’ve had zero presence on either app store for about 2 years, due to working exclusively on a huge SaaS product with no native apps needed. So I’m sure I’m now at the bottom of any priority list. Does it suck, indeed. But I understand. They want to make sure these are used for correct purposes. In fact, I was shocked the rental fee was only $500. It’s a low barrier, but does weed out more than enough folks.

I agree though, access to the hardware and OS build is a huge competitive advantage for folks that get accepted.
 
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developer13245

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2012
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Yeah, the 24 hour threshold has become the de facto indication for the industry.

I just heard from a former colleague now working in a cubeville. They produce Mac and iOS versions of their products. The operation is very reasonable, they just received some VERY expensive mac hardware just in time for WWDC. And, the team was given priority tasks to “tune in” to WWDC this week. Of course they applied for the DTK as soon as they could but have not heard back yet. The mac equipment is now being boxed up for return (before the two week return period expires) - AND ALL mac/iOS work will cease until they have an Apple Silicon Mac. IF a DTK shows up, then they’ll proceed with limited resources to evaluate their situation. Until then, ALL Apple platform work is on hold.

Funny, even the Mac “evangelical” in the operation (every team has one) agreed with the decision, which was made with a strong consensus from the “rank and file” developers.

Time is money. Apple has plenty of money, so much that they've lost sight of this.
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... and, all the WWDC videos will be available on line. So WWDC is over for the week, unless or until you get a DTK. Spending time here is just time wasted. I have other priorities.... ...out...
 
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Scottsdale

Suspended
Sep 19, 2008
4,473
282
U.S.A.
Yup
That was ten years ago for iPhone 4 prototype. Completely different situation. The average person has no need to be concerned about the police knocking their door down unless they have done something wrong or there are just crooked cops doing no knock warrants... then, the white privilege I have works in my favor. I feel badly for all those who have to endure any other situation. The police are supposed to be the good guys but I agree they aren’t always so. Still, they don’t have time to knock down every door.
 
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Acidsplat

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2011
243
488
Got my approval tonight. It's more than 24 hours, but I did get accepted and haven't had an app in the Mac App Store in 2(ish) years.
I accidentally withdrew mine from day 1 and had to resubmit yesterday.
Praying I didn't mess up my opportunity for one.
 
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tenjikuronin

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2014
11
2
Any chance us plebs that don't have a current app but still do product work will be able to join the program?
 
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