If Apple moves to ARM -- will there be a Roon Core for ARM?

This project is underway, but the timeline has been mostly out of our control.

First, Roon is built using Microsoft’s .NET Framework. This is a huge part of how we are able to support so many platforms coherently with a relatively small team.

There is no way to support Roon on Apple Silicon natively without migrating from Xamarin/mono (Microsoft’s old .NET solution for Mac) over to .NET 6.0 (Microsoft’s current .NET solution for mac) because they elected not to support Apple Silicon in mono. This is a significant migration for both Roon, and on Microsoft’s side, and not a lightweight piece of work.

Migrating to .NET 6.0 has benefits aside from Apple Silicon support, as well. It’s a lot faster than Mono, and has better memory management behavior. It will make it easier for people to maintain large libraries on Macs going forwards. There are also details of Apple Silicon support unrelated to .NET–like porting all of our Intel-Optimized DSP code over to ARM. This is done at this point, but it was a significant chunk of effort.

Microsoft just released .NET 6.0 for Apple Silicon in November 2021. Before this date, it was impossible for us to even get started on this project. However–Microsoft’s support for Mac Desktop apps was released as a “preview” and it is still in “preview” status today. They do not yet consider it stable enough for production use.

Nonetheless, we have been working against their “preview” stuff for a few months. We’ve seen Roon run natively on Apple Silicon in-house. We are still working through issues with Microsoft’s stuff, which can be very time-consuming because it has little documentation and a number of bugs still open, but that’s life in “preview” mode.

There are really two possibilities for this project. Either we get to the point where we feel that it’s stable enough to release with Microsoft’s “preview” stuff, or we run into a roadblock and decide to wait until they fix issues on their side, or until they declare their work to be production quality.

This project has been continuously underway for a while, and we are working on it. Much of our team is on Apple Silicon now and we want it as badly as you guys do, but this is complex stuff, and Microsoft’s progress and release cycle has been the dominant factor in the time table.