Adobe M1

I bought a new Mac Pro with the M1 chip without realizing that it doesn't run Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. My fault for not reading the small print but it's a major problem for me as I use this program for work. I've tried working online but Adobe imposes a limit of 100 pages and the documents I need to work on are 200-400 pages. Recently Adobe has released an M1-optimized beta version of the software which isn’t quite feature-complete. For the first week or so of editing on our M1, we used the existing Adobe version through Rosetta 2.

After a few months in beta, Adobe has launched a version of Photoshop for Apple’s M1 chip, bringing a major speed boost to the popular photo editing software. However, it also includes a few limitations that might make users want to stick to running the Intel version in Rosetta 2.

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Adobe says the M1 native version is 1.5 times faster than “similarly configured previous generation systems,” so users should definitely feel the difference. The app will update via the Creative Cloud updater and will seamlessly switch to the new version when relaunched. Adobe says legacy versions of Photoshop prior to 2020 will not support the M1 chip.

PetaPixel ran some speed tests comparing the Rosetta version to the native M1 app, and the speed boosts are very noticeable. In their testing using PugetBench, the Mac mini running the Apple Silicon-optimized Photoshop recorded the second highest overall score they’d ever seen.

However, the M1 version of Photoshop for M1 MacBooks and the Mac mini isn’t identical to the Intel version. Here are the features that aren’t available in the M1 version yet, according to Adobe:

Adobe M1 Beta

  • Import, Export, and playback of embedded video layers
  • Shake Reduction filter
  • Preset Syncing
  • Share an image button / Quick Share
  • Create new Library from document / Libraries Panel menu command
  • Home Screen > Shared with you and Invite to edit / Collaborative Editing features.
  • Opening or placing U3D formatted files
  • Starting Bridge from Photoshop menus

There are also a handful of known issues Adobe is working on including Issues when exporting SVG files and a black screen when viewing a 3D document. Adobe offers workarounds while it works to fix the problems.

For most users, these won’t be debilitating limitations, but if you need any of the features here, you can always switch to the Rosetta version. Head to your Applications folders, right-click on the app icon, and then “Get Info” to bring up details and options about the app. Finally, check the “Open in Rosetta” box to force the Intel version to launch.

Update 11:50AM ET:Added a link to PetaPixel’s testing.


Adobe Photoshop, the world’s most popular photo editor, has been updated this week with native support for Apple Silicon Macs. Mark Dahm, the product manager at Photoshop, detailed in an interview with ComputerWorld how the company has been working to update its apps for the M1 Macs and what the real benefits of this transition are.

We already know that having an updated app with full support for the M1 chip enables much better performance, not to mention more power efficiency — which is great for MacBook users. However, according to Dahm, Photoshop runs up to 50% faster on a M1 MacBook when compared to a previous generation Intel MacBook.

The difference becomes even more noticeable when you compare it to older Intel Macs. Adobe says that upgrading a complex software like Photoshop to a new platform isn’t exactly easy, but the improvements for users are extremely significant.

Recompiling a large application for Apple silicon requires investment on behalf of its developers. However, as we have shown in Photoshop’s case, it can result in significant user-facing improvements to performance. […] We compared an M1 MacBook to a previous-generation MacBook similarly configured, and found that under native mode, Photoshop was running 50% faster than the older hardware.

The Photoshop product manager reminded that the app has been available to Mac users for more than 30 years now, and that Adobe has handled another major transition before when Apple migrated from Power PC to Intel processors. As Photoshop is one of the most used tools by professionals, it’s important for Adobe to keep the app updated with the latest and greatest features.

At the same time, the more complex the software gets, the more the engineers have to rewrite it for a new platform. Dahm says that the Rosetta 2 technology really helped the Photoshop team with the schedule until the update with M1 support was ready. He also praised Apple’s development tools, saying that they provide a “seamless transition” from Intel apps to Apple Silicon.

Adobe M1

Adobe M1

Adobe M1

Fortunately, Apple’s Rosetta mode allowed Photoshop to run reliably and fast on M1 devices on day one, without requiring significant changes to the code base. And many features were running as fast, or even faster than on the previous systems, so those earlier questions about performance were being resolved quite satisfactorily.

Right now, only Photoshop and Lightroom have native versions to run on M1 Macs. The company is also working on updates for Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, and Audition with Apple Silicon support, which are currently available as beta apps for Creative Cloud subscribers.

You can read the full interview with Mark Dahm on the ComputerWorld website.

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