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The Visual Studio code is now running on the M1 Mac

Equipped with the M1 Mac mini from 2020.
Zoom in / Equipped with the M1 Mac mini from 2020.

Samuel Axon

Microsoft has released a new version of the Visual Studio Code source code editor that runs on Apple Silicon Macs such as the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini models with Apple M1


The change came in Visual Studio Code 1.54 (now 1.54.1 thanks to a bug fix update), which comes as a universal 64-bit binary as standard for Apple Silicon-enabled applications. However, Microsoft also offers downloads for x86-64 and Arm64 versions if needed.

Of course, there is no difference in characteristics between the two versions. And the non-Apple Silicon version worked great on the M1 Mac before with Rosetta, but Microsoft says M1 users can expect several optimizations with the new binaries:

We are happy to announce that our first release of a stable Apple Silicon builds this iteration. Mac users with M1 chips can now use VS Code without emulation with Rosetta and will notice better performance and longer battery life when working with VS Code. Thanks to the self-hosted community with Insiders for building and reporting issues at the beginning of the iteration.

Other key features in Visual Studio Code 1.54 include the ability to hold terminal processes when reloading the window, performance improvements in the Windows version, product icon themes, improvements when viewing Git history log entries, and various accessibility enhancements.

This is the latest in the slow march of performance and powerful consumer applications that have released their own versions of Apple Silicon, such as Adobe Photoshop. But many popular applications are not yet native, including the Visual Studio Code IDE, Visual Studio 2019 for Mac.

However, internal support for Apple Silicon is expected to come in Visual Studio 2019 for Mac with .NET 6, which is expected to be delivered in November. The first review of .NET 6 was released last month.

Many software development and creative manufacturers have committed to launching Apple Silicon versions of applications, including Adobe and Unity. But others, such as Autodesk, have not yet made much noise about Apple Silicon support.

Apple is expected to move its entire Mac lineup to the new architecture by the end of 2022. Reports citing people familiar with Apple’s plans show that another Apple Silicon-based MacBook Pro is coming up this year, as well as significant revisions to both on the iMac and MacBook Air, which will also have Apple Silicon chips.

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