Home Cloud Amazon Web Services AWS Launches EC2 MacOS Instances for Developing Apple Compatible Applications

AWS Launches EC2 MacOS Instances for Developing Apple Compatible Applications


David Brown, AWS Vice President (EC2)

In a bid to bring diverse offerings for the cloud services market, Amazon Web Services have launched Amazon EC2 Mac instances that will allow Apple developers to run native macOS on AWS cloud. Apple launched new Silicon-based chips in November to usher in a next generation of application environment. In light of this, Amazon has launched the service based on Mac Mini Computers, enabling users to run macOS workloads in AWS. The EC2 instances don’t cover the new M1 processor until 2021. The move will most likely accelerate software development on Apple Silicon in 2021.

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The integration of macOS in AWS is a significant step for developers. MacOS based applications can only be developed using Apple’s own Xcode, Core ML, Metal, and Swift development tools available exclusively on the macOS environment. This introduction will allow developers to run the environment on a major cloud provider. Earlier, developers had to use standalone Apple computers to manage or change their applications. With this development, they can now tinker with their applications on the AWS console. In order to run the cloud version of macOS, AWS is using Apple’s Mac Mini computers with Intel 8th Generation 8-Core i7 processors running with 32 GB RAM.

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For the time being, developers will be able to run two variants of macOS — Mojave and Catalina — on their cloud infrastructure, with Big Sur support coming sometime later followed by M1 devices in 2021. The cloud instance can be used to develop applications for all Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. With this integration, Apple will also attract more enterprise developers. Apple’s environment is already dominant in the market though Macs are not and this development will boost its presence. With Amazon’s partnership with Apple, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure will also follow suit in the future. However, the massive market for Mac environment will be with AWS for the time being.

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AWS has not revealed the price of the instance yet but Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist at AWS said, “you can use these instances to create build farms, render farms, and CI/CD farms that target all of the Apple environments that I mentioned earlier. You can provision new instances in minutes, giving you the ability to quickly & cost-effectively build code for multiple targets without having to own & operate your own hardware. You pay only for what you use, and you get to benefit from the elasticity, scalability, security, and reliability provided by EC2.”


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