When developing applications you need to ensure that your program runs on a maximum number of operating systems hence you need to test across all platforms. It can be difficult but is made easier by the cloud-based services as Amazon introduces AWS EC2 Mac instances for anyone to test and develop Apple apps.
You can launch the Mac instances for a minimum launch time of 24 hours due to Apple’s Licensing. You are allowed to run on demand making it cost-effective. This will allow you to focus on development only. The other technical specs: networking infrastructure, security, upgrades, patches will be dealt with by the EC2 Instance.
In the Mac instances, you are provided with a Mac Mini that features an 8th gen Intel i7 processor with 6 cores and 12 threads. The processor runs at a base clock speed of 3.2 GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.6 GHz. The Mac also features 32GB RAM. You can also remotely access their desktops using a VNC client. The AWS will also give you access to other services like Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon Elastic Block Storage, Amazon Elastic Load Balancer, Amazon FSx, and AWS Systems Manager. Moreover, people setting up the cloud-based Mac mini will have the option to choose between macOS Mojave (10.14) or macOS Catalina (10.15) while the support for macOS Big Sur will be available soon.
Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing, also expressed his views:
“Apple’s thriving community of more than 28 million developers continues to create groundbreaking app experiences that delight customers around the world. With the launch of EC2 Mac instances, we’re thrilled to make development for Apple’s platforms accessible in new ways, and combine the performance and reliability of our world-class hardware with the scalability of AWS.”
The Vice President EC2 at AWS, David Brown, said the following:
“Our customers tell us they would love to have their Apple build environment integrated with AWS services. With EC2 Mac instances, developers can now provision and access on-demand macOS compute environments in AWS for the first time, so they can focus on creating groundbreaking apps for Apple’s industry-leading platforms, rather than procuring and managing the underlying infrastructure.”
Currently, the EC2 only supports the Intel-based Macs but we can expect support for Mac mini featuring an M1 chip in 2021.
As far as the pricing for EC2 is concerned, it is not clear yet but it is expected to be $0.50/hour.