So we can check which apps on our Mac are optimized for the M1

Every architectural transition, in which Apple is becoming an expert, by the way, has two components: the hardware and the software. The hardware has been with us since Apple introduced the new MacBook Air, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the new Mac mini. We practically already have the software here, let’s see it.

Beyond compatibility

The first and most important thing about this transition in terms of software is that, except for virtualization apps, all the applications that worked on Macs with Intel do so on Macs with M1. No more. The system takes care of everything. We are not talking about compatibility, we are talking about optimization.

Apps created for Intel work on Macs with Apple silicon thanks to Rosetta 2 that translates the app completely the first time we run it. As simple as that. That said, the fact that an app is built for the architecture of the M1 brings several benefits of performance, energy consumption and efficiency of the equipment.

One more note. Apps that offer support for Apple silicon are called universal apps. This is because, for now, while the transition lasts, an app contains within itself two copies: the one created for computers with an Intel processor and the one created for computers with Apple processors.

How to check our universal apps

So we are interested in knowing which apps are universal? A little. Universal apps are better adapted to Apple silicon, so their performance will be better. Especially in terms of energy efficiency, since the system, the performance controller to be exact, will be able to better interpret which processes to send to which components. For all this, let’s see which apps on our Mac are already optimized for Apple silicon.

We have several ways to do it, the first one is directly application by application. The steps are the following:

  • We open the Finder app.
  • We tap on Applications in the sidebar.
  • We select the app that we want to consult.
  • We press Command (⌘) + io or we secondary click on it and choose Obtain information.
  • Here, in the small window, under General we find the Class section, that tells us what type of app it is: Application (Universal) or Application (Intel).

    Another way to do it is in the system report, where we can consult a list of all our duly cataloged apps. In this case the steps are these:

  • We click on the Apple apple () and touch About this Mac.
  • We tap on System report.
  • In the sidebar, under Software we select Applications.
  • As soon as we select this section in the right part of the window we will see a list appear with all the apps installed on our computer. On the right side, in the Class column, we can see the type of application it is. A simple touch on this same column will order the list so that we can find the apps even more easily.

    Finally, if we want to consult apps that we do not have installed, we can go to the internet. In we will find a list of many applications and we can check if they are already optimized.

    In view of what we have seen, this transition is being much, much faster than the previous one. Apple has already set a two-year margin on hardware, and on software the vast majority of developers already offer support or, according to various announcements, will offer it soon.