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The Difficulties on my Research | M1 or Windows?

Language/语言:   English   简体中文
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By: Ken Deng   Published on Jul. 2, 2021

Approx. 2100 words, 9 mins

  Table of Contents

Hello there! My name is Ken and I am a Chinese senior high A Level student in Guangdong Country Garden School. Welcome to Ken's Study Journey website and blog! Today, I am going to talk about some conflicts and my difficulties when doing my research project and computer programming between Apple's new M1 chip and Windows OS.

Recently, Apple released its M1 chip and Microsoft is going to release Windows 11. So, my apps need to adapt to the latest hardware and software.

M1 chip cannot run Windows OS and Intel or AMD chips cannot run apps for M1 chip (i.e. they do not support each other). This means I cannot make macOS apps optimised for M1 chip and Windows apps at the same time using the same computer.

So, how can I solve this problem? It is impossible to take 2 laptops at the same time. I need to choose the best one, either Windows or macOS, for my laptop, while desktop computers at home can be as many as I want.

This article is going to talk about my research, problems I encountered and my solutions. Let's go!

My Research Project - Making Apps

I am going to do a research project to make some apps for Windows, macOS and Android (but exclude iOS) since Grade 11 - September 2021. This is used for enriching the content in my Personal Statement for applying for universities in the United Kingdom.

The first project I will make is called Ken's Study Planner, which only has web version and is already opened for registration.

The major I am going to apply is associated with computer and programming and I will go to UK for university in 2023. So, making apps is essential for my personal statement and I can gain experience from it.

Content Deleted

This part of the content was deleted because it may be inappropriate or misleading.

What is M1 Chip and its Benefits?

M1 chip is the first Apple chip used on its Mac computers and even iPad (definition). I assume that it may have M2, M3 or M4 chips in the future.

In 2020, Apple released its M1 chip which has a number of benefits:

  • Longer battery life, about 18-21 hours.
  • Faster speed.
  • Higher performance.
M1 Chip
Related Knowledge

Now, I am going to talk about an IGCSE computer science (0478) knowledge: binary and denary system.

Different objects use different kinds of numbering systems for convenience and they can be converted. People use denary system may because we have 10 fingers used for counting.

However, computers use binary system because it contains millions and millions of transistors, like the image above, which must be ON (1) or OFF(0) positions.

I made some multiple-choice questions before about Apple Products like Cambridge IGCSE to test my classmates about their extent to know Apple products.

Apple Products May 2021 Paper 1 Question 2 Apple Products May 2021 Paper 1 Question 12

Answers: C, B

View Full Papers I Made:



M1 Chip and Windows do not Support Each Other

In fact, M1 chip cannot run Windows OS and apps and Intel chip cannot run apps designed for M1 chip. So, they do not support each other.

This means we will not able to use macOS and Windows on the same computer in the future. That's the problem which stuck in my mind.

Further Research about M1 and Intel Chips

I made a further research about it. This is because Windows computers and Intel/AMD chips use x86 and x64 architectures but Apple's M1 chip uses ARM architecture. ARM processors consume less energy and hence M1 chip has 20-hour battery life. ARM is usually used on processors of phones and tablets, which is much better than x86 and x64 architectures.

Apps designed for Intel chips can be run on M1 Mac computers - as long as they installed Rosetta 2 translator. Some apps, like Microsoft Office, was not optimised for M1 chip when it was firstly released, but it will not make a major negative impact on its performance or battery life even if you use many non-optimised apps.

However, this is not a big problem for me. New hardware are all backward compatible. For example, USB 3.0 ports support USB 2.0 devices, Bluetooth 5.0 headphones support Bluetooth 4.0 devices, Windows 10 supports some Windows 7 and 8.1 apps.

Related Knowledge

Now, I am going to talk about an IGCSE computer science (0478) knowledge: USB (Universal Serial Bus).

USB becomes a universal industry standard for all computer devices like keyboard and mouse. It has several advantages. It is backward compatible, the drivers are automatically uploaded and installed when a new device is plugged in, several transmission rate is supported, and it only fits in one direction.

However, I assume that Type-C* is going to replace USB because it can be plugged in with two directions as both sides use similar order of metal plates and it is much thinner and smaller than USB. The direction for plugging in can also be determined, like alternating current (a.c.).

* Note: Type-C is beyond the knowledge I learned in my school and Cambridge syllabuses, which is an extended knowledge point for people to augment its horizon.

M1 chip with ARM architecture supports x86 and x64 apps (i.e. apps designed for Intel chips on macOS). However, Intel Mac computers cannot run app that only supports M1 chip, except apps that support both.

Did you know?

Do you know why apps for iOS and iPad OS can only be installed on M1 chip Mac computers but not Intel chips?

Maybe because all iPhones and iPads use Apple's own chips with ARM architecture. Since M1 apps and iOS and iPadOS apps do not support x86 and x64 architecture, they cannot be run on Intel chips.

Did you know?

Do you know why M1 chip supports apps designed for Intel chips, but not support Windows operating system?

MacOS has a Rosetta 2 translator that allows Intel-chip apps to run on M1 computers. However, Windows is an operating system but not an app, so it cannot be run in the M1 CPU.

I asked a question before: What happen if we download and install the wrong version of apps, like Google Chrome, between Intel chip or Apple M1 chip on macOS?

Google Chrome Download Page

Windows 11 will be released at the end of 2021. I assume that it may support ARM architecture and hence it may compatible with both Intel and Apple chips. This question may be answered a few months or even a few years later.

Choosing the Best Option

I assume that more people around the world use Windows and Android instead of macOS and iOS. This is because Windows and Android may be open-source and they can be used on all computers, especially computers with customised hardware.

One solution is to buy and carry 2 laptops in my backpack. However, it is unnecessary because it can be heavy and transferring files between them are very difficult. Also, using 2 laptops at the same time need more space in public places. So, it is not suitable for me. Desktop computers at home can be as many as I want.

In fact, software companies may specialise their workers to make apps suitable for different devices and operating systems. For example, some people develop Android apps and others develop iOS and iPadOS apps. Hence, different programmers have different kinds of devices.

Related Knowledge

Now, I am going to talk about an IGCSE economics (0455) knowledge: specialisation and division of labour.

Different people have different hobbies and skills. Some people are interested in developing Android apps and some like writing iOS and iPadOS apps.

Specialisation is to let workers make a particular product. Division of labour is to put workers into many categories to enable them to make different kinds of products according to their skills.

I don't want to be over-specialised and over-specialisation cannot be used on my research project, but it is not a major issue! My project needs to be done by myself with a little help from my computer and programming teachers. This is because I need to recall the content in my personal statement and some of my codes when doing the interview on the university application.

I told that I make apps is to enrich the content of my personal statement for university application. So, I do not need to make my apps compatible with all operating systems and devices until I go to university.

Because M1 chips and other advanced hardware are all backward compatible and a few people use M1 Mac computers, I do not need to optimise my apps on M1 chip now. I just need to use my existing hardware, including my Mac mini and MacBook Pro with Intel chip using both macOS and Windows, and an Android phone I used before.

My Plan for my Research

My plan for making apps will begin at September 2021.

I will firstly self-study how to make Windows and macOS apps and then make Android apps.

Some operating systems are excluded due to their restrictions or because they are unnecessary. For example, macOS with M1 chips optimisation, iOS, iPadOS, Apple WatchOS, ChromeOS, Linux, Huawei Harmony OS.

Please Note: Any apps made in this research process will not be uploaded and published on any app stores, including Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Microsoft Store, and so on.

I estimate that I will make iOS, iPadOS, WatchOS and M1 chip apps when I go to university in 2023. In the university I will make more apps compatible with more operating systems and devices. Also, I will make apps for Harmony OS after graduated from the university.

If your device is in this list, including iOS on iPhone, don't worry. I have already learned to make websites and web versions of apps using HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP and MySQL. You can use your browser to use my apps.

Why I need to use Both macOS and Windows?

As I told in my article before about why I use Apple products and its ecosystem since 2021, Windows supports on all computers except for which has an M1 chip, but macOS only supports Apple devices.

I told that my research project should be done alone, so I need computers with different kinds of hardware and operating systems.

After compiling my developed apps and writing codes, I need to test them on many devices and operating systems to make sure they do not have bugs and can run normally.

Many people, especially people in low-income countries, are still using Windows 7 and even Windows XP or older OS with x86 and x64 architecture. Even though Windows 11 may be supported on ARM architecture and M1 chip, I still need to make x86 and x64 apps running in older Windows OS.

Experiencing Budget Deficit

I also have a budget. Some of my money is spent on studying tools, including premium plans of apps and stationeries, and some are spent on my server and other website-related items.

This is not a big problem right now because I don't need too many devices and make apps for too many operating systems. However, this will occur in 2023 when I go to university.

I originally estimated that Windows 10 might be the last Windows system and Mac computers will use Intel chip. However, both things are changed between 2020 and 2021. It is normal because many things cannot be predicted in the future, like the Covid-19 global pandemic we are experiencing now.

Budget deficit means the expenditure/spending is much larger than income or what we expected and estimated (definition). Because I need to buy more computers at university, I need to spend more money on it.

M1 Chip or Windows? Either or Both?

M1 chip and Windows are mutually exclusive and it may be impossible to take and use 2 laptops at the same time. So, I need to make the best choice by giving up the alternative one.

M1 chip is compatible with Intel-chip apps, so I do not need M1 chip now. Making apps with both Windows and macOS is very important for me. So, I gave up the M1 chip to fulfill my requirements.

In fact, I don't regret buying a 2020 MacBook Pro with an Intel chip earlier instead of M1 chip, but most of other people with careers or majors other than programming and software engineering regret so much.

Alright! This is the end of the article. Thanks for reading.

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Still have questions or cannot understand my articles? Don't be hesitant to contact me and I am here to help you. I speak English and Chinese.

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