The MacBook Air, Pro, and Mac mini ARM gain an added bonus, thanks to developer CodeWeavers. Their CrossOver 20 program, based on the Wine project, is now compatible with Apple Silicon macs. They can launch Windows applications directly in macOS, in addition to the iPhone and iPad apps!
The more you learn about new ARM macs equipped with the M1 chip, the more pleasantly you are surprised. The first tests are unanimous on the performance and autonomy of the firm’s new computers. In particular on the proposal that represents the MacBook Air, with the same performance as the MacBook Pro 13 ″ ARM, but in a more compact format, without fan.
This design fanless could raise fears of a clear automatic restriction of performance as soon as the temperature passes a certain threshold. But since Apple controls everything, we realize that the frequency is only restricted after about ten minutes. This allows for example to have the time to export a video using all the power of the M1 chip. And these macs have other strengths.
Read also: Apple M1 chip shows its amazing prowess in a series of benchmarks
ARM Macs gain the ability to natively launch Windows apps in addition to iPhone and iPad apps
We pass on a ARM architecture, which implies iPhone and iPad applications are now natively supported. Do not expect a real immediate revolution on this side: these applications are currently not at all optimized for macs which lack a touch screen and therefore must use the applications via the keyboard and the mouse. There is also this other drawback: not everything is yet available under the same conditions as on Intel macs.
For example, new Macs with an ARM chip lose support for external eGPUs… but also the ability to install WIndows 10 on a second partition via Boot Camp. We imagine that Apple will repair this in the long term, but for now, we must be satisfied. Those who depend on Windows applications, whether at work or for playing, still have a few solutions in the very near future. The editor of the suite Parallels Desktop has already announced that an update will be released soon for ARM macs.
The program allows you to install Windows 10 or any other operating system through virtualization. Gold, there is an option that works right now. And which is, as a bonus, rather more convenient than installing a version of Windows in a virtual machine: CrossOver 20. Based on the Wine project, which allows you to launch Windows applications under Linux, CrossOver 20 is officially compatible with M1 macs. Thanks to CrossOver 20, it is now possible to install applications (or even games) directly in macOS.
Everything works, as long as you have the latest macOS Big Sur beta
According to the developers, CrossOver emulates Windows executables on macOS thanks to Apple’s proprietary Rosetta 2 technology (which already enables macOS Intel applications to be emulated on the new architecture). According to the editor, the solution works well enough to run popular games like Among US and even Team Fortress 2, without impacting performance too much (even if it is nevertheless the case…).
For now, it should be noted that support is not complete. The editor explains in fact not having managed to launch CrossOver 20 only on M1 macs running on the beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.1. This version of the system benefits from major fixes around the Rosetta 2 translation layer technology. The editor of CrossOver is nevertheless pleased that everything works, despite the complex interlocking of several emulation systems.
“I can’t say enough about how cool this all is – there is so much emulation under the hood. Imagine – a 32 bit Windows Intel executable, which launches into a 32 bit to 64 bit bridge in Wine / CrossOver on top of macOS, on an ARM CPU emulating x86 – and it works! It’s so cool ! ”, Enthuses Jeremy at CodeWeavers.
How to test CrossOver 20 on your Mac ARM
If, then, you bought a mac ARM with M1 chip and want to launch Windows applications, you will need to follow these steps:
You can also see a demo of CrossOver on new macs in the video below: