According to the latest news, new Mac Mini instances will be available on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) soon and they will allow developers to create apps for iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more all on AWS. In short, Amazon is bringing macOS to its AWS cloud for the first time ever. It can be said that Amazon’s introduction of macOS instances is significant for developers.
Amazon now has a big cloud provider that will let them run Xcode and Swift development tools in the cloud. This means the company has moved away from the traditional ways such as having to maintain and patch dedicated Mac machines.
As of now, Amazon has not announced anything about the pricing but there is speculation that the company will reveal more information at its re: Invent event.
To start with, Amazon is using Apple’s Intel powered Mac Mini devices for its cloud version of macOS. Mac Mini is powered by Intel’s 8th generation Core i7 processor and 32 GB of RAM. Developers will be able to pick between macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina. The device will come with Big Sur support. Amazon is also planning to provide M1-powered devices in 2021.
From today, Mac instances will be available in North Virginia, Ohio, Oregon, Ireland, and Singapore AWS regions.
Previously, developers turned to companies like Macstadium to host macOS instances but throughout, Apple’s license agreement for macOS has always been a bit of a grey. Recently, Apple itself made this clear with an update to the license agreement for Big Sur.
As per the new agreement, Apple software and hardware can now be leased to individuals or organizations for permitted developer services “for a minimum period of twenty-four (24) consecutive hours.”
The best part with the Amazon story is, Amazon is adhering to this 24-hour restriction. This further means instances cannot be used as part of an Auto Scaling Group. Amazon will soon allow developers to pay for usage of its macOS machines with its pay as you go pricing.