In a new WWDC session video today, Apple has elaborated on the system architecture of the forthcoming Apple Silicon Mac transition. Notably, this will mean a few changes to the experience, including a new macOS Recovery options screen, as well as the deprecation of Target Disk Mode.
Currently, you can access a variety of macOS Recovery features at boot-up, but each one requires a different key combination. As detailed by Jason Snell at Six Colors, you can hold Command-R for Recovery mode, or erase NVRAM by holding Option–Command–P–R. Starting with Apple Silicon-powered Macs, however, Apple is simplifying this process.
In a WWDC session titled “Explore the New System Architecture of Apple Silicon Macs,” Apple explained that you’ll be able to access macOS Recovery options simply by holding down the power button when you boot up your Mac. As you can see in the above image, this will present a screen allowing you to access additional macOS Recovery options, boot as normal, shut down, and restart.
Apple also says that Apple Silicon Macs will deprecate Target Disk Mode and replace it with Mac Sharing Mode. This means that, instead of turning your Mac into an external hard drive, Sharing Mode will turn it into an SMB network file share that allows you to access the data following authentication.
Six Colors also points out the new security options:
These Macs will also have a little more granularity when it comes to boot security. Each startup volume can be set to a different security mode, either full security (which is the default) or reduced security. This means that external disks will be able to be booted from without downgrading security.
In reduced security mode, you can boot any supported version of macOS, even if Apple’s no longer signing it. And if an app or accessory you rely on uses a third-party kernel extension to enable functionality, you’ll need to use this mode.
Finally, Apple Silicon Macs will include a new System Recovery area that offers a bare-bones version of macOS with support for reinstalling macOS and macOS recovery. You can check out the full WWDC session on this topic through Apple’s developer website.
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