The M-series chips which consist of the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra use a different architecture from that of the Intel chips, so Apple has designed tools that allow developers to create Universal app binaries that run on both Apple silicon and Intel chips, plus there is a Rosetta Two translation layer that lets x86 apps operate on machines with Apple silicon.
With Rosetta 2, apps designed for Intel machines will continue to run on M1 Macs with some limited performance compromises. For the most part, apps run similarly on both Intel and Apple silicon because of the performance enhancements added by The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
Everything should function as normal when transitioning to Apple silicon Macs, and over the course of a few years, almost all popular Mac apps will be built to run on the M1 Macs natively.
As of now, there\’s one significant compromise when choosing an Apple silicon Mac, and that\’s Windows support.
There is no Boot Camp for Macs with Apple silicon chips, and the machines are not officially able to run Windows, although some users are figuring out ways to make it work. Official support could come in the future, but it largely depends on Microsoft licensing its Arm-based version of Windows to consumers, and so far, that hasn\’t happened.
M1 Pro and M1 Max Macs can run iPhone and iPad apps as well as Mac apps, so long as app developers make them available to Mac users.