More of Adobe Creative Cloud is Apple M1-native now and the speed bump is astonishing

Chris Davies - Jun 8, 2021, 8:35am CDT
More of Adobe Creative Cloud is Apple M1-native now and the speed bump is astonishing

Adobe has updated some of its most popular apps for native Apple Silicon support, with the newest versions of Illustrator, InDesign, and Lightroom Classic all now updated to be M1-native. The changes should mean a noticeable performance improvement, Adobe says, as the new software taps Apple’s custom CPU and GPU acceleration.

The changes are part of a broad array of Adobe Creative Cloud updates, being released today. Adobe had already updated Photoshop and Lightroom to work natively with the Apple M1, and made the speed boasts along with it, and now it’s extending to cover other titles that are often must-haves for creatives.

Illustrator and InDesign had, of course, been usable in their existing form on M1 Macs like the MacBook Pro 13-inch and MacBook Air. That was thanks to Rosetta 2, Apple’s system for running x86 software on its ARM-based chipsets. However the switch to native M1 support could mean up to a 65-percent increase in performance for Illustrator users.

Adobe InDesign users, meanwhile, could see up to 59-percent improvements in performance overall, compared to Intel builds. Some everyday tasks have seen particularly dramatic improvements, like opening graphics-heavy files, which Adobe claims can be 185-percent faster. Scroll performance on text-heavy documents of 100 pages is improved by 78-percent.

For Illustrator, Adobe says independent testing confirmed the speed boost. Launching and creating documents can be up to four times faster than on previous builds, while opening new files with 31 complex artboards is now 119-percent faster. Scroll performance when editing complex vectors has improved a hefty 390-percent.

As for Premiere Pro, there’s a new beta of Adobe’s M1 version. That, the company’s independent testing suggests, has unlocked new speed improvements on Apple Silicon machines: encoding to ProRes 422 was 129-percent faster, while importing XAVC S 4K footage is 187-percent faster.

The app now launches 50-percent faster, and opens projects 77-percent faster; saves are 168-percent faster. On effects, gradient wipes are now applied 90-percent faster, and Lens Flare effects 66-percent faster.

It’s not just speed, though: battery life can also be improved by Adobe’s changes, the company says. “Optimizing our Adobe Sensei AI and ML features for the Apple Neural Engine provides next-level performance gains,” Eric Philpott, product marketing manager on the Adobe pro video and audio team, explains. “For example, Scene Edit Detection, powered by Adobe Sensei, is at least 430 percent faster on an Apple M1 13” MacBook Pro than an Intel-powered system with similar specifications. Fine-tuning Premiere Pro for the M1’s Unified Memory improves overall efficiency of the application, and our own testing shows significantly longer battery life.”

The beta of Premiere Pro for M1 is available now. As for the final release, that’s apparently coming soon.


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