Apple Silicon Screen Savers

Posted 16th January 2023

I’ve rebuilt both Ephemeral and Fronds as Universal Binaries, meaning they will run natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs.

To make this change I’ve had to build the screen savers with a newer version of Xcode and, as is often the case, Apple have added a new bug to the screen saver libraries. Code that has worked for years was now failing to show the preview in System Preferences: they were just showing a black box.

After a lot of investigation it turns out that Apple are forgetting to tell the screen savers to start animating when running as a preview. I don’t know why they can’t leave well enough alone and do something useful instead, such as adding support for notarizing screen savers to Xcode. It would take an intern a day to fix this, but it’s been an issue for ever.

You can download Ephemeral here and Fronds here.