Today’s Question: I just got a new iMac with Apple’s M1 chip. I understand that Adobe offers a special version of Photoshop tailored to that chip instead of Intel’s microprocessors. What are the advantages, and how to switch to the new version?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The primary advantage of software such as Photoshop natively supporting the Apple M1 processor is improved performance. And that native support is automatic as long as you have updated Photoshop after March 2021, when the version supporting the M1 processor was released.
More Detail: Now that Apple has released a number of computer models featuring the new Apple Silicon M1 chip rather than Intel processors, software applications are being updated to natively support the new processor.
Fortunately, even without a software update most applications will continue running just fine on M1-based computers. They will just run in a compatibility mode, which can cause degraded performance.
Adobe has been updating their various applications to support the M1 processor, and Photoshop was updated in March 2021. So, as long as you have updated Photoshop via the Creative Cloud application since March, your M1-based computer will be running Photoshop in native mode, with improved performance.
The only real issue I’ve found with running Photoshop on an M1-based computer is that plug-ins for Photoshop that only support Intel processors will not work with the latest versions of Photoshop. To use those plug-ins you would need to keep (or install) an older version of Photoshop on your computer.
An article providing more details on my experience with a computer featuring the new Apple M1 processor is included in the September 2021 issue of my Pixology magazine. You can learn more about this digital magazine on the GreyLearning website here: