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Adobe and DxO bring software updates for native M1 Mac compatibility

DxO PhotoLab 4.1 M1 update
(Image credit: DxO)

After a flurry of scare stories around the new Mac M1 chip architecture and whether our favorite image editing software would still work, it turns out we needn’t have worried.

The fuss has come about because Apple has slowly started switching its computers’ processors from the Intel chips it’s been using for years to its new integrated M1 processor, which will bring major improvements to performance, power saving and more.

New MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini models now come with M1 processors, with other models in the range likely to follow suit in due course – though Apple is not planning any kind of overnight switch across the range

This change in chip architecture has raised fears of incompatibility issues with existing software. We spoke to Apple about this when we were being briefed on the new computers, and were told that the new M1 models would simply run Intel native applications under ‘Rosetta’ emulation and that they would work exactly as before. We are hearing reports that even some Intel apps running under Rosetta emulation are showing substantial performance improvements on the new M1 Macs.

MacBook Pro M1

Apple's new M1 Macs will run existing 'Intel' apps under emulation as software publishers roll out M1-native updates. (Image credit: Apple)

M1 compatible updates

In the meantime, software developers have been working on direct M1 compatibility. DxO has just released PhotoLab 4.1, an update designed to harness the full power of the M1 processor, so that its hardware-intensive DeepPRIME image processing is now three to five times faster. Affinity Photo is already M1-compatible, and Adobe has released an M1-compatible Lightroom update.

So where does that leave Lightroom Classic and Photoshop? These have yet to be updated for the M1 chip, but Adobe has said both have been certified to work well under Apple’s Rosetta emulation and that new versions are coming.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio. Previously he has been Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. 

Rod's near-encyclopedic knowledge of cameras both old and new makes him an invaluable resource, whether we need to ask a question about transparencies or the latest X-Trans sensor. He owns all manner of cameras, from Nikon DSLRs through Olympus, Sony and Fujifilm bodies, and on any given day you'll see him using kit from just about every manufacturer.