While Apple’s M1-powered Macs are stupid-fast and efficient, there are some drawbacks to consider. Most notably, Apple’s Boot Camp didn’t make the jump. Not all is lost, though, as CrossOver, an app that enables you to run Windows apps on macOS, will work on your shiny new machine.
The current version of CrossOver isn’t native. What this means is that the app is being translated from x86 to ARM via Apple’s Rosetta 2, with CrossOver itself emulating Windows. But to be fair, you don’t need to know what any of this means. All you need to know is that most Windows apps function just fine using the app.
Jeremy White, a member of the Crossover team says:
I can’t tell you how cool that is; there is so much emulation going on under the covers. Imagine—a 32-bit Windows Intel binary, running in a 32-to-64 bridge in Wine/CrossOver on top of macOS, on an ARM CPU that is emulating x86—and it works!
That’s not all that shocking though. Most early impressions of M1 Macs seem to suggest that these machines run equal to or better than their predecessors, even when running apps that are being translated from x86 to ARM. CrossOver just proves that even when you’re translating or emulating several times over, Apple’s M1 Macs are still able to perform smoothly.
Of course, this is all running in non-ideal conditions. The guys over at CrossOver are confident that the app will run even better once it gets updated for M1.
While it’s cool that you’re able to run Windows apps on an M1-based machine, we’d like to caution buying one until apps such as CrossOver get updated to run natively on the platform. Especially if you rely on running Windows apps as part of your daily workflow. Yes, it’ll work with most apps, but that’s not a guarantee. And even if you do get them running, there might be some unforeseen quirks.