Adobe has announced that the macOS version of Photoshop has been updated to natively support the ARM-based Apple M1 chip on the latest Mac models. Native support means that the application no longer has to run within the built-in emulation software (known as Rosetta 2), which improves performance.

Software giant Adobe on Wednesday officially released the first version of Photoshop that would run natively on Macs using the Apple Silicon M1 chip. This means users will now no longer have to download a beta version of Photoshop for Apple silicon. After a multi-month beta period, software company Adobe has publicly released a version of its Photoshop image-editing software that runs natively on M1 Macs like the late-2020 models of the.

According to Adobe, the native Apple silicon version of Photoshop runs on average 1.5x faster than 'similarly configured previous generation systems'. This was tested over a wide range of tasks such as opening and saving files, running filters, and compute-heavy operations like Content-Aware Fill and Select Subject. Adobe claims the updated version does these tasks noticeably faster than before, with some being substantially faster.

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Adobe also said that it's still in early days of programming natively for Apple silicon and that the company will continue to work with Apple to continue improving performance over time.

Photoshop Mac M1

The company is yet to implement recent features such as Invite to Edit Cloud Documents and Preset Syncing, among others in this build of the app. These will be ported over in the future. Adobe said that it didn't want to hold back the native app any longer so it shipped what was already available. If anyone needs the missing features, they have the option of installing the x86 version and running it through Rosetta.

Adobe M1 Mac

Apart from this build, Adobe also shipped its Super Resolution feature in the Adobe Camera Raw Plugin, which uses AI to increase the resolution of images, along with an improved version of Photoshop for iPad that includes Cloud Documents Version History and the ability to work on Cloud Documents while offline.

Reader comments

  • d$y

Ikr?

  • 8@Z

Oh man, this is so cringy

Photoshop Mac M11

  • d$y

Don't be scared to leave your reality distortion field safe-space once in a while. Sticking to confirmation bias, the way you seem to do, make you miss out on so much in tech.


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An M1 MacBook Pro photo editing test found that the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro running M1-optimized apps was faster than a ‘”beast” of a Windows desktop PC – despite the fact that the latter was specifically specced with photo editing in mind and had a massive 128 GB of RAM.

Professional photographer Andrew Hoyle said that he was “astonished” by the performance, and concludes that an M1 Mac is a safe bet for photographers looking to upgrade…

Hoyle is CNET’s European lead photographer. He found that the M1 MacBook Pro with 16 GB RAM didn’t compete when it was running Intel-based Photoshop, but it was a different story when he tried the M1 beta version.

I tested how long it took Photoshop (both in Intel and M1 beta versions) to align 19 full-resolution raw images and then to merge them into a focus-stacked image. It’s a technique I use regularly in my product photography, so it’s important for me to have good efficiency here. [Focus stacking is where you take a bunch of photos with different focus points, then combine them in software to get the entire image in focus, from the closest point to the furthest.]

Intel-based Photoshop, via Rosetta 2, took 50.3 seconds to align the layers and 1 minute, 37 seconds to merge them. I compared that to an exceptionally powerful Windows desktop PC that was built with an AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X CPU, Nvidia RTX Titan graphics and 128GB RAM, specifically to be a beast with editing photos and 8K video. The PC took 20 seconds to align the layers and 53 seconds to merge them — a clear victory for the PC.

However I then ran the same tests on the beta version of Photoshop that supports Apple M1. It took 22 seconds to align the layers and 46.6 seconds to merge them — a faster overall time than my immensely powerful editing rig was able to achieve.

Apple M1 Chip Photoshop

The M1 version of Lightroom also beat out the PC when it came to importing 100 raw images.

The PC was still significantly faster when it came to video, however.

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The Intel-based version of Premiere took 6 minutes, 25 seconds to export on the M1 MacBook, but the optimized M1 beta version took about half the time, at 3 minutes, 24 seconds. For reference, my desktop did the same export in 1:20.

While Hoyle didn’t give any comparisons, he said that there were ‘”no issues” working with 4K files in DaVinci Resolve Studio, a high-end video editing and color-correction app.

All in, he says, there’s no reason for photographers to hold back.

Overall I’m impressed. Even when running non-optimized versions of apps, the M1 MacBook Pro still puts up a hell of a fight against a superpowered editing PC, and the fact that it’s able to outperform the PC on some tests when using M1-optimized beta apps is astonishing. I’m certainly excited about what performance improvements we’ll see as more developers fully optimize their software for Apple’s silicon.

If you’re a photographer and considering upgrading, I’d absolutely say the M1 MacBook is a safe bet. At the very least you’ll still be able to use all your current software as normal via Rosetta 2, and in time when official M1 versions are released, those performance boosts – and likely the battery life savings as well – will be extremely welcome.

Photoshop Mac M1

Personally, however, I’d advise photographers and videographers in the market for a MacBook to hold out for the Apple Silicon 16-inch MacBook Pro, expected later this year. In addition to the larger screen, that should be significantly more powerful than the 13-inch model. But if you specifically want the smaller form factor for portability, it looks like there’s no reason not to press the button now.

Creative Cloud M1

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