Photoshop runs faster with native support for Apple M1 processor

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Photoshop now natively supports M1 Apple Silicon processors.
Photoshop now runs natively on the Apple M1 processor.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Adobe released the first version of Photoshop with native support for Apple’s new M-series processor on Wednesday. And the company promises that this significantly increases the performance of the software compared to running it on Intel-based Macs.

“Photoshop now runs natively on Apple computers using the Apple Silicon M1 chip with 1.5X the speed of similarly configured previous generation systems,” crowed Adobe.

Photoshop joins the transition from Intel to Apple Silicon

Apple began moving away from Intel processors last autumn with the release of a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini with an M1 chip. These require Apple’s Rosetta technology in macOS Big Sur to emulate an Intel chip so they can handle third-party software written for previous Macs. That’s how Photoshop has run on those M1-powered Macs since they debuted.

A beta with native support debuted in November, and Adobe has now released a version compiled for the M-series processor. With the burden of emulation lifted, the graphics software got a serious speed boost. Especially as the M1 chip offers outstanding performance.

But there are drawbacks. Adobe warned there are features available under Rosetta but not in the native version. But that won‘t be true forever. “Photoshop has minor feature differences when running under native mode and Rosetta,” said the developer. “Adobe is hard at work to reduce these feature differences in future updates.”

Features currently not supported include importing, exporting and playing  embedded video layers, the Shake Reduction filter, and others. The full list is available on Adobe’s support website.

A Mac can have both the native and Rosetta versions installed at the same time so a user can switch between them as necessary.