Apple Execs Talk M1 Chip, Touchscreen Macs and More in New Interview

Apple's first Macs with M1 Apple Silicon chips were introduced earlier this week and will be in the hands of customers by next Tuesday. Amid the release, Apple engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware engineering VP John Ternus, and marketing chief Greg Joswiak spoke with The Independent to discuss the new Macs.

new m1 chip
When announcing the new ‌M1‌ MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and MacBook mini, Apple had bold claims about their speed relative to both older Macs and PCs, and benchmarks last night proved that those claims are true. The new Mac models are faster than any other Mac in single-core performance and beat out many high-end machines, including the 16-inch Retina MacBook Pro, in multi-core performance.

On performance, Federighi says that Apple "overshot" and the ‌M1‌ chip turned out to be better than Apple thought it would be. Apple execs were shocked at the battery life numbers.

"We overshot," says Federighi. "You have these projects where, sometimes you have a goal and you're like, 'well, we got close, that was fine'. [...]

"We started getting back our battery life numbers, and we're like, 'You're kidding. I thought we had people that knew how to estimate these things'."

According to Ternus, during the development process, it became clear that the chip was doing more than had been expected. Apple's teams were "so passionate and excited" about the chip that they just kept pushing and optimizing.

On the name, Joswiak said that "‌M1‌ makes a lot of sense for a Mac chip," because Apple aims to use letters that make sense. A in the A-series chips used in iOS devices stands for "Apple," and the chips for headphones use H. "We're brilliant marketers that way," said Joswiak.

With the MacBook Pro, ‌MacBook Air‌, and Mac mini all using the same chip at variable price points, Federighi says that the main differentiating factor is thermal capacity. The ‌MacBook Air‌ has no fan and uses passive cooling, while the MacBook Pro has an active cooling system for faster performance.

Apple's entire Mac lineup is going to transition to ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips over the course of the next two years, and when it comes to Intel Macs, Apple execs said that they trust the machines to do the jobs they are for. Federighi said that the Intel Macs run Big Sur and will be a "big part" of Apple's focus for "many years." Apple expects the transition to be "seamless" because Apple has experience after transitioning from PowerPC to Intel in 2006.

Even though there are no design changes, Ternus said that the new Macs "make a statement" with their performance and that they're a "tremendous foundation" for the transition to kick off with.

"And, you know, we don't usually want to just go and change the design just for the sake of changing a design - we have a great platform here, we have a great new [processor], we can marry them into something really spectacular. And that was that was the thinking behind it."

With macOS Big Sur, Apple is somewhat merging iOS and macOS and allowing iPhone and iPad apps to run on the Mac, which lets developers create a single app for all platforms. Apple execs have continually said that they have no plans to merge the ‌iPad‌ and the Mac, and that continues to be the case despite the launch of universal apps. Federighi said there's no secret plan to change the way the Mac works and Apple isn't aiming for a touchscreen Mac.

"We're living with iPads, we're living with phones, our own sense of the aesthetic - the sort of openness and airiness of the interface - the fact that these devices have large retina displays now. All of these things led us to the design for the Mac, that felt to us most comfortable, actually in no way related to touch.

Federighi said that Apple designed and evolved the look of macOS in a way that felt comfortable and natural across a family of devices, and something like touch was not even remotely considered. "It's just they all feel like the natural instantiation of the experience for that device," said Federighi. "And that's what you're seeing not some signaling of a future change in input methods."

The full interview with Federighi, Joswiak, and Ternus is worth checking out and it can be found on The Independent's website.

Top Rated Comments

boss.king Avatar
43 months ago

Glad they’re not doing touchscreen macs, I hate those hybrid devices
I know, right. Imagine if they had made some sort of disgusting keyboard and trackpad case that essentially turned their tablet into a touchscreen laptop. There's nothing worse than versatility and options when it comes to computing if you ask me, each device should stick to doing one thing and we should all have to buy a bunch of devices and piece them together to get the functionality we want.

:rolleyes:
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dugbug Avatar
43 months ago

I seriously hope he’s being sarcastic here. Like, he’d better be joking. There’s nothing brilliant about putting a letter in a processor name.
IT WAS A JOKE. Jaswiak and Craig goof around a lot
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
43 months ago
Glad they’re not doing touchscreen macs, I hate those hybrid devices
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
43 months ago
don’t know how many times Apple needs to say it. you don’t need a touchscreen Mac. i agree.

it. just. doesn’t. make. sense.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikethebigo Avatar
43 months ago
Looks like they were so busy congratulating themselves over the M1 they forgot to pay their CDN bills.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Awesome Avatar
43 months ago
Ah, nice to have yet another confirmation that Apple isn’t planning on touchscreen Macs, as some people keep forgetting how firm Apple is on this.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...