Adobe details the transition of its apps to Apple Silicon, emphasizes performance benefits – 9to5Mac


Adobe Photoshop, the world’s most popular photo editor, has been updated this week with native support for Apple Silicon Macs. Mark Dahm, the product manager at Photoshop, detailed in an interview with ComputerWorld how the company has been working to update its apps for the M1 Macs and what the real benefits of this transition are.

We already know that having an updated app with full support for the M1 chip enables much better performance, not to mention more power efficiency — which is great for MacBook users. However, according to Dahm, Photoshop runs up to 50% faster on a M1 MacBook when compared to a previous generation Intel MacBook.

The difference becomes even more noticeable when you compare it to older Intel Macs. Adobe says that upgrading a complex software like Photoshop to a new platform isn’t exactly easy, but the improvements for users are extremely significant.

Recompiling a large application for Apple silicon requires investment on behalf of its developers. However, as we have shown in Photoshop’s case, it can result in significant user-facing improvements to performance. […] We compared an M1 MacBook to a previous-generation MacBook similarly configured, and found that under native mode, Photoshop was running 50% faster than the older hardware.

The Photoshop product manager reminded that the app has been available to Mac users for more than 30 years now, and that Adobe has handled another major transition before when Apple migrated from Power PC to Intel processors. As Photoshop is one of the most used tools by professionals, it’s important for Adobe to keep the app updated with the latest and greatest features.

At the same time, the more complex the software gets, the more the engineers have to rewrite it for a new platform. Dahm says that the Rosetta 2 technology really helped the Photoshop team with the schedule until the update with M1 support was ready. He also praised Apple’s development tools, saying that they provide a “seamless transition” from Intel apps to Apple Silicon.

Fortunately, Apple’s Rosetta mode allowed Photoshop to run reliably and fast on M1 devices on day one, without requiring significant changes to the code base. And many features were running as fast, or even faster than on the previous systems, so those earlier questions about performance were being resolved quite satisfactorily. 

Right now, only Photoshop and Lightroom have native versions to run on M1 Macs. The company is also working on updates for Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, and Audition with Apple Silicon support, which are currently available as beta apps for Creative Cloud subscribers.

You can read the full interview with Mark Dahm on the ComputerWorld website.

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