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AWS Launches EC2 Mac Instances

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Amazon Web Services or AWS, the cloud division of Amazon, announced the launch of new virtual computing instances, known as EC2 Mac instances, for Apple app developers.

The new Mac instances will help AWS users to run Apple's macOS operating system on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or Amazon EC2. Built on Mac mini computers, EC2 Mac instances will allow customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud for the first time ever.

Millions of developers use Apple's platforms and tools such as Xcode and Swift, and frameworks like Core ML and Metal, to create apps for Apple's more than one billion customers globally.

The developers will be able to use Amazon EC2 Mac instances to build, test, package, and sign Xcode applications for the Apple platform.

According to Amazon, EC2 Mac instances will enable developers to create apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Safari by accessing macOS environments quickly, scale up capacity as required, and benefit from AWS's pay-as-you-go pricing.

Customers will also be able to consolidate development of cross-platform apps for Apple, Windows, and Android onto AWS, leading to increased developer productivity and accelerated time to market.

Further, they will be able to use EC2 Mac instances together with AWS services and features like Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for network security, Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) for expandable storage, Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) for distributing build queues, and Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for OS image orchestration.

EC2 Mac instances are powered by a combination of Mac mini computers that feature Intel's eighth-generation 3.2GHz Core i7 processors, 6 physical/12 logical cores, with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz, and 32 GiB of memory. The instances are enabled by the AWS Nitro System.

Amazon noted that EC2 Mac instances can now be purchased On-Demand or with savings plans. The instances are available now in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) regions.

Accounting software maker Intuit, FiLMiC, the creator of the mobile cinema camera app FiLMiC Pro, and Amazon's Ring subsidiary, are among the customers using EC2 Mac instances.

In a separate blog post, Amazon said that EC2 Mac instances with the Apple M1 chip are already being developed and planned for 2021.

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