Apple Silicon/ARM and Scrivener and a new Mac

I’m about to purchase a new Mac but am weighing whether or not to wait for the new Apple Silicon versions. A big factor will be if Scrivener.

Will Scrivener work away with the new Apple Silicon/ ARM model on Mac, or will there be a delay?
Also, will Scrivener just “work” in the new environment, or be fully ported to take advantage of the new hardware, or both overtime?


This question has already been officially answered in this thread :

Yes, Scrivener will run on Apple Silicon machines, as soon as its Big Sur update is released. There’s been no official word on whether it will take advantage of new hardware features; frankly I’d doubt that Scrivener will do anything special that doesn’t come for free with a simple recompilation under the new OS. I could be wrong, though.

A caveat to that - although Scrivener will absolutely work (natively) on Silicon and there is a Big Sur update coming, I can’t guarantee that the first release of Scrivener for Big Sur will natively support Silicon (that is, it may run under Rosetta). This entirely depends on Apple. I have done all the work necessary for Scrivener to run natively on Silicon, but when I can release a fully Silicon supporting version of Scrivener all depends on when Apple allows developers to distribute Silicon apps. It may be that Apple releases Big Sur before it allows developers to release native Silicon apps. I assume we’ll find out more on Tuesday, with the Apple event.

Either way, we’re ready to go on both Big Sur (with the exception of us still working on the updated icon) and Silicon, so we’ll be pulling the trigger as soon as we can after Apple’s official releases.

All the best,

Thanks to both of you. Now I just have to decide if Silicon is worth the wait, worth the “being first”, and the cost. Any opinions there? I’ll definitely be tuning into the Apple announcement this week.


On two of these—how long will the wait be, how much the AppleSilicon Macs will cost—there’s no point in speculating until Tuesday. As for “being first”—you go right ahead there. :smiley: I’ll wait for your reports.

Now we know:

The wait is short. Big Sur will be released tomorrow. I don’t plan to upgrade my Macs until I read from folks here that Scrivener works on Intel chips running Big Sur .

The cost is the same as the Intel based Macs with claimed major performance increases.


3.1.5 runs on Intel / Big Sur, but not absolutely faultlessly.

Keith has said an updated version of Scrivener is ready to roll, so all should be well.

So how do we do this? A simultaneous download of Big Sur and the Scrivener new release?


If a user relies on Scrivener for work, I would suggest waiting to update Big Sur until an announcement is made on the forum about Scrivener being updated, or until the update mechanism in Scrivener notifies users about an update being available.

Scrivener works very well on Big Sur right now, but not quite as well as on Catalina (which is only to be expected).

I imagine the Scrivener update applicable for Big Sur will be out soon after Big Sur’s release.

FWIW, I generally wait to update Mac OS until at least the X.1 release. I’m happy to let other people work out the bugs – often quite a lot of them – in the initial release.

Even if you’re more aggressive than that, I would definitely wait until Scrivener and any other applications that are critical for your work have released Big Sur-compatibility updates.


Roger that.


That’s a good strategy, I need to be more patient and do this myself. How long does it generally take until there is a Mac OS X.1 release following the initial release?

Got a download this morning from the App Store of a Big Sur compatible app, so Apple is already pushing Big Sur apps before Big Sur is released later today.

If compatible apps are released for the software you use, I can’t see any point in waiting to move to Big Sur. Every OS has bugs, irrespective of the point release it is on. And as a direct comparison with Catalina, performance right now on Big Sur is noticeably better.

And with Covid around, none of us even know if we’ll live long enough to see another point release. So carpe diem. Life is too short to sit on the bench waiting for a call to play.

That is likely to be quite accurate – at least for a while.

See, that’s what I get for using a Mac running Catalina.


A website I’ve found useful in the past to check app compatibility before making the leap to a new macOS is They also have section for Apple Silicon optimisation. It’s crowd sourced so not 100% reliable for more obscure apps.


I don’t think that on my death-bed, that I will be regretting waiting on a .1 bug fix release. I would hope my priorities aren’t so skewed that I’ll even give a non-medical consumer good much thought in such a situation.

Don’t get me wrong–as soon as I can afford a compatible laptop, I’ll be excited to get my hands on it. And if I was ready to upgrade, I would put up with the risk of bugs and incompatible apps for a while in order to get something with the new architecture in it. Having more than 4 hours of battery (which is where my old 2012 model Air is at right now) would be reason enough to be excited, let alone the huge leap in performance.

Yarp. Not suggesting anyone would really care about a consumer product on their deathbed; more making the point that in life trivial things (such as a bug in Catalina or a bug in Big Sur) really don’t make a jot of difference, so there is no need to wait for perfection as perfection doesn’t exist.

And I think that sometimes small changes do have huge impacts. And being willing to say yes and to jump in leads to a life where you are more generally engaged and usually more able to accept change, embrace opportunities, and be more positive towards the things you encounter. Have you not seen that Jim Carrey scientific documentary called “Yes Man”?

So maybe upgrading to Big Sur on day one might make a difference to your life that you had never imagined. I made a tiny change when I switched to a Mac and started using Scrivener. If I had waited another week or two, I might have bought another Windows machine and never had the world of opportunities that opened up to me through the tiny decision I made to jump ship on the day I did.

And on their deathbed, I doubt anyone is going to say: Joy, oh utter unfettered joy, my Mac still runs Catalina. :laughing:

A bug or incompatibility that renders a critical application unusable is not what most people call “trivial.”

My point of view on this is entirely self-interested, though. When Scrivener doesn’t work because of a Mac OS bug, we tend to get yelled at.


You’re making an argument against a point that no one here was advocating.

You’re also being slightly condescending by categorizing all bugs as “trivial.” Not all bugs are equal, especially to people who are using their software to make a living.

Combined with the verbiage that seems like it is attempting to talk down from a more enlightened position, you are coming off as very belittling to others in this discussion. Is that your intent?