Apple’s new MacBook Pro delivers more than the new M1 chip. Something good is back for the developers.

MacBook Pro’s keyboard

Having tested the first MacBook Pro with Touch Bar back in 2017, it felt like MacBook was dropping developers. Some essential ergonomics got disrupted esp. for the Vim-based devs.

Today, not only has Apple made a prominent switch to their own M1 chips and tripled the performance12 by doing so, they’ve also brought back the Esc key. Did Apple’s designers listen to the critique? Perhaps.

New MacBook Pro M1 with Esc key

Docker Desktop

Docker and Apple Silicon

Following the M1 chip launch, Docker announced that they’re not quite there yet to support Docker Desktop on macOS Big Sur:

Although Apple has released Rosetta 2 to help move applications over to the new M1 chips, this does not get us all the way with Docker Desktop. Under the hood of Docker Desktop, we run a virtual machine, to achieve this on Apple’s new hardware we need to move onto Apple’s new hypervisor framework.3

As it stands Apple Silicon support is in active progress4 and first sightings of Docker Desktop on Apple Silicon have also been made:

Whether or not the new version also improves Docker performance on macOS remains to be seen.

Docker Desktop, Big Sur and Intel

Docker Desktop runs fine on old Intel-based MacBook Pros with macOS Big Sur. There’s no noticeable performance drop.

Important to add that version 2.4.2.0 from Docker’s edge channel features gRPC FUSE for file sharing and is considerably faster than the legacy osxfs, also on Big Sur.

MacBook Pro M1 for developers

Lack of Docker Desktop support will not see too many MacBook Pro M1 based developers anytime soon, but it could serve as a very performant platform for a developer who does not need the mesh of microservices set up locally.