Dropbox is finally testing native M1 support on macOS

Dropbox is finally testing native M1 support on macOS

Dropbox might not be the most popular cloud storage service at this point, especially with Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive usually offering better pricing and features, but it’s still used by many people to keep their files synchronized across different devices. Dropbox has been slow to update its macOS application with support for Mac computers with Apple M1 chips, but now it’s finally happening.

Dropbox released a new beta version of its desktop application (via Ars Technica) on Wednesday, labelled as “Beta Build 140.3.1903,” which appears to be the first version that runs natively on Apple M1 Mac computers (instead of running inside the Rosetta 2 translation layer). There’s no confirmed timeline for when M1 support will leave beta and roll out everyone using a Mac, but the company did say last year that it was aiming for “the first half of 2022.” The new M1 version should be faster and consume less memory than the emulated x86 application.

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The company also published a new support article about M1 support, saying, “Dropbox native support for Mac computers with Apple silicon (M1) processors is now available in beta to all users who have opted into Dropbox’s early releases program. You can expect the same Dropbox experience on your Apple devices, whether they’re running on Apple silicon (M1) or an Intel processor.”

Unfortunately, Dropbox still has no native version available for Windows on ARM or ARM Linux. The normal Windows desktop application can’t even be emulated on ARM Windows, presumably because it hooks into Windows Explorer, which Microsoft doesn’t support for emulated x86/x86_64 software. The only option for Snapdragon Windows laptops is Dropbox for S mode, where files are only accessible from inside the Dropbox application.

Google Drive added native Apple M1 support in October 2021, and Microsoft began testing an M1 client in December (a stable release is not yet available). Apple’s own iCloud file syncing is built into the Finder application, so it has always been M1-native.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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