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OneDrive joins Dropbox in committing to native M1 Mac support

The 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro stacked on top of the 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Enlarge / The 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro stacked on top of the 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Samuel Axon

Microsoft has announced a public preview of OneDrive sync for ARM devices, signaling that a public release of a native version of OneDrive on M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max Macs will arrive eventually.

9to5Mac first discovered and reported on the announcement after Microsoft’s Ankita Kirti posted the following to the OneDrive blog this morning:

We’re excited to announce that OneDrive sync for Windows on ARM and for Apple silicon is now available as a public preview!

We know this has been a long awaited and highly requested feature, and we’re thrilled to make it available for early access.

To enable the preview, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve joined the Insiders ring and enabled the preview in OneDrive Settings > About.

We will be rolling out this feature to the Insiders ring over the next few days. 

Native app support for Apple’s architecture has been marching aggressively forward across the macOS software ecosystem. There are still some major exceptions, of course, like Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 and Autodesk Maya, but by and large, we’ve seen a lot of popular applications go native since the debut of the M1 last year.

But utilities like Dropbox or OneDrive have often been notable outliers in this regard.

Dropbox drew the ire of users when a support-forum discussion saw an employee suggesting that M1 support wasn’t a high priority. However, the company later clarified in a statement to 9to5Mac that it is testing an M1 version and that support will come sometime in 2022. On the other hand, competing utilities Google Drive and Box were relatively quick to support M1.

Some niche applications that are not well-supported may never make the transition to the new architecture, but users have expectations for widely used apps like Dropbox and OneDrive, which are mandatory for many workflows and workplaces.

Most Apple Silicon Mac users who open Activity Monitor and sort processes by “Kind” will find that they are still running Apple-native and Intel-based apps on their machines, but the gap has been closing. It’s often things like background utilities and extensions that are outliers. That said, the Intel versions of most apps work just fine under Rosetta 2—they’re just less performant than they would be if they were native.

Microsoft hasn’t said when OneDrive ARM support will become available to the public, but Insiders will at least gain access imminently.

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