Summary: Apple’s recent M1 Mac has aroused much excitement in Mac user base thanks to the new ARM-based Apple Silicon chip that uses the ‘indigenous unified memory architecture.’ In addition, this new M1 Mac performs incredibly well, consumes less power, and significantly increases the battery life of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Plus, M1 Mac now runs iOS apps and wakes up from sleep instantly.
Apple’s silicon-based Mac is in its nascent stage and has some downsides. The demerits will, of course, get resolved with software and hardware updates eventually. But till that time, people interested in the M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or Mac mini (2020 model) should be aware of the issues and solutions that can help mitigate the challenges.
This post talks about the top MacBook Air M1 issues, MacBook Pro M1 issues, Mac mini M1 issues, and their corresponding solutions.
M1 Mac Issues & Solutions
1. M1 Mac’s reporting tool informs heavy wear on SSD due to memory swapping
Solution: Upgrade the macOS Big Sur version on your M1 Mac mini, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air to get around this false SMART data reporting issue. The Big Sur 11.4 version has fixed the SMART data reporting inaccuracy that the third-party reporting tool fetches about SSD thrashing. In reality, no faster aging of SSD occurs due to RAM swap, SSD hardware issue, or otherwise. Therefore, after the macOS update, you can fetch the correct SSD usage report. So, the macOS update will resolve the MacBook M1 SSD problem completely.
2. M1 Mac is incompatible with Intel-based x86 apps.
Solution: Use “Rosetta 2,” the native app of macOS Big Sur, to enable your M1 Mac to run apps that are designed for Intel processors. Rosetta 2 emulates to run third-party Intel-based x86 apps, such as Microsoft Teams, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc., that won’t run directly on M1 Mac due to differences in architecture. Until software developers create Apple Silicon compatible apps, emulation is the only workaround to launch incompatible Intel-based x86 apps on M1 Mac.
3. M1 Mac has no Boot Camp to install Windows
Solution: Run a virtual machine, say Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac or CrossOver® Mac`, to install Windows on M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or Mac mini. This solution helps play Windows games or launch Windows apps on M1 Mac that don’t support Boot Camp. Surprisingly, Windows games and apps work faster on a virtual machine than an Intel-based Windows PC counterpart.
4. M1 Mac has connectivity issues with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Solution: Install the latest macOS update to eliminate frequent disconnection with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices. Also, for connectivity issue associated with Bluetooth mouse, keyboard, AirPods, etc., unpairing the Bluetooth device and pairing it back again is helpful. Besides, disconnecting the Wi-Fi device and reconnecting it again can help fix the Wi-Fi disconnection problem.
5. M1 Mac supports only one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz
Solution: Use sidecar on iPad, DisplayPort, or special adapters to connect multiple displays through M1 Mac. Also, most people use the laptop itself, so they don’t care about various external display features. And, for many advanced users, single external display support seems sufficient for their work. Finally, a macOS update can fix such an issue if you face any specific monitor incompatibility issue or screen resolution issue with a widescreen monitor.
6. M1 Mac has only two thunderbolt capable USB ports.
Solution: Use a USB hub from Apple or a trusted brand that provides multiple USB ports to get around with this downside. Warning: Using a local USB port with a charging facility can brick your Mac, so be cautious. As you know, Intel-based MacBook Air or MacBook Pro has two thunderbolt capable USB ports for the last few years. And, the M1-based laptop didn’t have any changes to that design, so it won’t be that concerning for many.
7. M1 MacBook Air or Pro has a 720p camera sensor.
Solution: Use a Full HD or 4K external Web camera to eliminate this issue. Or, bear with the current HD (720p) camera sensor in M1 MacBook Air/Pro and expect the next hardware iteration with Apple Silicon to get a Full HD (1080p) camera upgrade. Incidentally, the new image signal processor present on the M1 MacBook Air makes better noise reduction, better exposure, and increases dynamic range, which boosts the video conferencing experience. So, many won’t find this a deal-breaker.
8. M1 MacBook Air and Pro Battery Draining Fast
Solution: Update the installed macOS Big Sur 11.0 to its latest version to fix the battery draining problem of M1 Mac, including MacBook Air M1 and MacBook Pro M1. Note, Apple claims that the M1 MacBook Air has 18 hours of battery life while the Pro has 20 hours. Therefore, updating the latest version of macOS ensures M1 Mac performs better and agrees with the claimed battery life.
9. M1 MacBook Air Overheating
Solution: Restart your MacBook Air, run M1 Mac compatible apps, and use your laptop on a flat surface with good airflow. By the way, M1 MacBook Air is designed to sustain workloads without a fan, and it won’t overheat and damage the silicon chip. So, if the CPU temperature increases, Mac throttles down to make sure the processor runs cool.
10. M1 Mac is bricked due to factory reset
Solution: Take an appointment with Genius Bar to fix the bricked Mac. This issue is relatively rare on M1 Mac. Still, those users who have faced this issue should have backed up their Mac to an external storage drive using Time Machine or manually before factory resetting to avoid permanent data loss. If they haven’t backed up their Mac, then the only solution to recover their lost data is to use data recovery software that supports recovery on M1 Mac. Learn how to set up and use Time Machine on Mac.
Read More – Top 10 Intel Based MacBook Problems & Solutions
So, the question is “should you buy the new Apple-Silicon-based MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or Mac mini?” The answer is YES because the advantages of the M1 Mac are far more significant than the downsides. Also, the solutions shared can help you get around with the MacBook M1 problem all by yourself. Also, M1 MacBook Air/Pro or Mac mini is quite reasonably priced to appeal worldwide. But, if you are searching for a better version of the Apple-Silicon-based Mac, wait for the second generation, i.e., the M1X or M2 Mac.