Apple’s three M1 Mac models may look outwardly identical to their Intel siblings,* but once you start using them, you realise just how many differences there are. You can hold down whatever keys you like when starting them up, but those won’t get you into Recovery Mode, and what you see there will be quite disorientating at first. No matter how experienced you are with Macs, or how fluent your skills with Big Sur, if you’re getting or have already got an M1 Mac you need Glenn Fleishman’s superb book, Take Control of Your M-Series Mac.
This isn’t an account of Big Sur, nor is it another tedious expansion of Apple’s online articles, but it focusses particularly on those features and procedures which are different on M1 models. Following a sound introduction to the new concepts in Apple Silicon, Glenn details how to migrate from an Intel Mac, backing up, battery matters, Recovery and its tools, and changes in security. The final two chapters explain how to run iOS/iPadOS apps, and two variations on the theme of running Windows, including the use of pre-release Parallels virtualisation.
Glenn and his editor Joe Kissell have each stepped through all the practical procedures which make this book so compelling. Coverage is thorough, and fully up to date. Being an electronic book, Glenn is revising it as Apple addresses some of the rougher edges. Where relevant, there are links to websites including this blog to provide more technical detail for those who want to dive deeper. For example, the chapter on Recovery describes Fallback Recovery, and steps through the critical processes of Revive/Restore using Apple Configurator and DFU mode.
For anyone seriously considering getting an M1 Mac, and everyone who has one already (including me), this is the essential guide and reference. If you don’t buy it, you’ll regret it.
Take Control of Your M-Series Mac, by Glenn Fleishman, is 84 pages long, comes in PDF, EPUB and Kindle formats, and costs $8.99 from Take Control Books.
* The MacBook Air and Pro are readily distinguishable by their Globe key. The rest is literally just fine print.