It has been two years and four months since the first Apple Silicon Mac hit the market, and now Autodesk has finally updated some of its massively popular professional applications (AutoCAD and Maya) to run natively on M1 and M2 chips.
The availability of AutoCAD for Mac 2024 was announced in a blog post on Autodesk’s website on March 28. Like other major AutoCAD updates, it adds new features like expanded automation tools and easier workflows, but the announcement that “for the first time, AutoCAD for Mac 2024 and AutoCAD LT for Mac 2024 now run natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon architectures, including M1 and M2 chips in the M-series chips” is clearly the headlining feature.
Autodesk claims that Apple Silicon support “can increase overall performance by up to two times” compared to the 2023 version of AutoCAD.
AutoCAD is widely used in various industries and trades, including architecture, city planning, and industrial design.
A day later, on March 29, Autodesk revealed the 2024 update for Maya, its 3D modeling software chiefly used in game development, film production, and visual effects. Maya 2024 brings native Apple Silicon support in addition to a slew of new features, including the LookDevX material editor, Hydra support, and so on.
But in contrast to many other makers of widespread professional software in similar industries, such as Adobe and Unity, Autodesk’s efforts to support Apple Silicon—which were announced two years ago—have been ongoing for an interminably long time. Even open source Maya competitor Blender beat Autodesk to the punch.
The Intel versions of both Maya and AutoCAD worked OK in Rosetta, but some Mac users have become understandably frustrated over the past couple of years, and Autodesk never really clarified why it was taking so long.
Nonetheless, it’s here now. We were able to download Maya 2024 for no additional charge on an existing subscription and confirmed that it is running as an Apple Silicon app on an M2 Max-equipped MacBook Pro.