As part of its announcement of new Mac computers earlier this week, Apple mentioned that Adobe plans to release versions of its software that are compatible with Apple’s new M1 chip. That’s good news it turns out, since the company isn’t able to officially support emulation via Rosetta 2 on those devices.
Rosetta 2 is an included operating system emulation tool available in macOS Big Sur that runs apps compiled for the Intel chipset on Macs powered by Apple silicon.
On Adobe’s Compatibility page, the company states definitively that while Apple has made it clear many apps will continue to run on Rosetta 2 emulation on the M1 chip – even saying that some apps may even run better than they would on native Intel chips – Adobe Lightroom Classic is not considered compatible with this method.
Caution: Running Adobe apps under Rosetta 2 emulation mode on Apple devices with Apple Silicon M1 processors is not officially supported. Native support is planned.
Even with this warning, Adobe additionally says that there are no known issues specific to running Lightroom Classic 10 under Rosetta 2 emulation on Apple devices with M1 processors running macOS BigSur (version 11). So while it’s a process the company can’t officially support, it’s still likely possible to continue using Lightroom and Photoshop via Rosetta 2 for the time being.
In a comment to PetaPixel after the Apple presentation, Adobe confirmed that native support is coming for Apple M1.
“We’re excited to bring CC apps to Apple Silicon devices, including native support for Lightroom next month and Photoshop in early 2021,” an Adobe representative said. “Regarding Lightroom Classic, the team is working on a native version of Lightroom Classic for Apple Silicon, and it will be released next year. We’re also committed to continuing support for Intel-based Macs.”
No specific timeline for new Adobe apps designed for the M1 chip has been provided.
It should also be noted that Adobe states that legacy versions of Adobe Lightroom are not compatible with macOS Big Sur:
Unsupported versions of Lightroom Classic were not designed or tested to work on macOS Big Sur (version 11). Older versions use 32-bit licensing components and installers and will not be able to be installed, uninstalled, or activated after upgrading to macOS Big Sur. If you have already upgraded to macOS Big Sur, use the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to uninstall older versions.
As it stands, current Creative Cloud subscribers are unlikely to run into problems on any of the three new Apple Macs, though the software company is clear they should do so with caution. Adobe was not likely able to fully test all possible scenarios with its software and Apple hardware, and while they cannot currently report any known issues, some may arise.