Dropbox will launch a native application for Apple’s M1 hardware in the first half of 2022. The company did not plan to release such a version, but came back to it this week after expressions of dissatisfaction by other users.
Dropbox is already usable on M1 Macs using Rosetta, the compatibility layer that allows running apps for Intel-based Macs, for example, on Macs with the new M1 chips. Those chips have been on the market for a year and can be found in recent models of the MacBook Air and Pro, Mac Mini, iMac and iPad Pro.
The problem with using Dropbox via Rosetta on M1 hardware is that it requires more computing power and thus more power than a native solution. That is of course an extra big problem with M1 hardware that works with a battery. On the Dropbox forum, users say they “are nowhere near the expected battery life when Dropbox is running” and, according to 9to5Mac, the app uses a GB of memory.
Dropbox said in July that “this idea [van een native M1-versie] needs to get some more support from other users before the suggestion can go to the development team’. Dropbox came back to this after the 9to5Mac article on Thursday, stating that the employee who made those statements was unaware of Dropbox’s position. In an effort to clarify that, Dropbox, among others through its founder and CEO, now that a native M1 version of the app is coming in the first half of next year.
Competitor Google Drive has had native M1 support for just over a week, as has Box, and Microsoft is working on M1 support for OneDrive. It expects to make it available this year.