What you need to know
- Amazon has launched AWS EC2 Mac instances.
- Developers can run macOS apps in EC2 remotely, allowing them to run Xcode and more.
- It all runs on Mac minis powered by Intel, not Apple silicon.
Amazon has announced that it is now offering EC2 Mac instances (opens in new tab), giving people who develop on Apple's platforms the chance to get everything into the cloud. Similar to how MacStadium also works, Amazon is hosting everything on a fleet of Mac minis, according to the company.
The move means that developers can now run native macOS apps in an EC2 instance for the first time, potentially opening the door to new and improved workflows.
However, anyone hoping to sample that Apple silicon life are going to be left disappointed. Amazon says that the Mac minis it's using are all running Intel Core i7 processors. Oh, and they don't run macOS Big Sur. Not yet, at least. Each machine does at least have 32GB of RAM and a 10Gb/s network connection.
The use of Amazon's EC2 instances gives developers access to the other AWS features that people enjoy, too. That includes things like elastic storage and Amazon Machine Images, to name just two. Instances can be spun up in Europe (Ireland), US East (Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) at the time of writing.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
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