For developers working on enterprise applications that need to develop for both Intel and Apple Silicon platforms, Bitrise now offers a cloud-based option that offers the world’s first virtualized M1 CI/CD environment.
Facilitate the transition to Apple Silicon
“The M1 chip offers many benefits, but to take advantage of them today, developers need to be able to seamlessly switch between Apple Silicon and Intel-based build options,” said Bitrise CEO Barnabas Birmacher.
The company, whose customers include N26, Transferwise (now “Wise”), Virgin Mobile, Tag Heuer, Mozilla, Paysafe and Philips Hue, wanted to give developers that kind of flexibility while offering a scalable solution built on top of their own business iOS CI/CD technology.
“As a result, teams can focus on expanding features instead of manually setting up and troubleshooting, which can lead to a decrease in release frequency. For the demanding mobile product companies that build on Bitrise today, a delayed feature or bug fix can cost millions of dollars,” he said.
The launch reflects a reality where millions of Apple Silicon Macs are already deployed across the enterprise, which means there is also a growing need to port apps from Intel to M-series processors.
What does Bitrise offer and who is it for?
The cloud-based solution was developed in cooperation with more than 100 companies and is designed to meet the requirements of demanding development projects. It is a managed solution that does not require the purchase of any physical hardware.
Birmacher said the product is aimed at “everyone who develops on iOS – so every iOS developer and every development team. Apple is completely phasing out Intel-based machines and the entire Intel-based development environment, so anyone developing for iOS has no choice but to move to Apple silicon.”
If you are using Bitrise, you can enter the virtualized Apple silicon environment in Bitrise’s workflow editor under the Stacks & Machines tab. The M1 Elite XL machine is available there.
The environment has multiple layers of automation, including an insights tool that allows teams to monitor app performance to identify vulnerabilities. It enables developers to build, test and deploy app updates to the App Store faster than any other solution on the market.
“This launch of a fully virtualized Apple silicon environment built for iOS CI/CD is the first available and reaffirms our commitment to getting these types of capabilities into the hands of our customers faster than anyone else,” said Birmacher.
“Before using Bitrise’s Apple Silicon compute option, we had issues with our M1 builds because our third-party libraries didn’t yet support Apple Silicon,” said Radoslov Radenkov, an engineer at Paysafe, in a statement. “We’ve been able to switch and increase the speed of our builds by 50%. We have also reduced test times from one hour to 22 minutes.”
What about WWDC?
To some extent, M1 Macs are already on their way to being phased out after Apple unveiled the first M2 Macs earlier this week.
“The new M2 chip is even more efficient than the M1 and has exciting features,” Birmacher said. With 16GB of storage not good for handling larger apps, M2 will be difficult for many iOS teams to become a viable option be. Even the M2’s 24GB storage isn’t quite enough.
Like most developers I’ve been in contact with since the show, Birmarcher was overall upbeat, saying:
“What really stands out is that Apple couples out-of-the-box developer APIs with the many new features and capabilities of iOS 16…. Developers can quickly support the newly announced functions.” He also saw the introduction of real-time widgets, the opening of HomeKit and improvements to CarPlay as great opportunities for app developers.
Apple also unveiled interesting changes in device management and declarative device management for Macs at the event, which I’ll talk more about tomorrow.
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