SU 2021 on Apple Silicon (Permanent License Updates?)

I would like to graciously request to SU developers that, whenever an ARM native version of Sketchup is released, they strongly consider re-releasing said version for anyone who purchased a SU 2021 permanent license within the last year. I know that there won’t be any further maintenance updates, as those were in the terms of purchase. But Trimble made it known that anyone who wanted to enjoy a permanent license needed do so in spring of 2020, which I am certain led to a few extra sales. I doubt anyone who made that investment then believed that their software would fail to run natively on a computer that they might purchase within the next several months, as is now the case. I understand Trimble’s preference is to move as many as possible to their subscription model; but at the same time, customers who purchased permanent licenses in good faith should expect those licenses to be reasonably supported and not forcibly EOL’d mere months later. I have hope that Trimble will do the right thing, and I’m sure it’s being considered; but it doesn’t hurt to remind them that their customers are already paying attention.

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Doesn’t the classic license include all updates released within 12 months after license purchase? Someone who bought SketchUp Pro the day before SU 2021 was released, also gets access to SU 2021, the first bugfix release (SU 2021.0.1, Jan 11th) and all coming maintenance releases (which can be 2–3).

So you can be sure, if the porting to ARM is released as a maintenance release, you will get it.

Like with any product, knowing the system requirements, I would not have high hopes for exceptions from the license when my current hardware is unsupported or I buy new unsupported hardware. M1 is not so exceptional that it requires special treatment over other normal technological advances, I have plenty of other hardware and operating systems for which I also want support, and then I will get my license extended, will I?
Also, an inherent property of permanent licenses is that they are for the version purchased. That one is not forcibly EOLed by Trimble, but 1.) the hardware change is introduced by Apple and 2.) the purchase decision (M1 or not M1) by the user is not without alternative choices, it’s the reponsibility of the user.

Thank you for your feedback. I do hope that it is offered as a maintenance update. But your stance on the significance of the change precludes two things:

1.) Trimble’s offer of a final classic license came so near to the announcement of the M1 that there is a greater-than-zero chance their developers knew about the potentiality for support issues beforehand, yet made the offer anyway. In that event, I would expect Trimble to do the right thing and ensure that their customers get to use their purchased software in its native capacity for the expected duration of a product cycle. At issue is not the system requirements, which as you pointed out, are clearly stated. Rather, it is one of expected use, which comes down to what a reasonable person can expect. If I purchased SU 2012 and used it for three years in the manner assumed, then likewise SU 2015 and 2018, it is completely reasonable to purchase SU 2021 and expect the same. If Trimble had any reason to suspect otherwise, they should have disclosed that in their offer so we could, as you say, weigh alternative choices.

2.) I will propose that architecture changes are the very definition of exceptional. Windows, as far as I recall, has used x86 for all of its 35 years, so the point for them is moot. Apple had used x86 for 15 years, and PowerPC for 12 years before that. Prior to those architectures, there was not enough cross platform software for the issue to be relevant. Two instances over three decades is an exceptional occurrence.

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It is. The software is alway’s sold ‘as is’.

Apple has Rosetta for conversion period, it will probably just work for a long time, since apple machine’s go along way.

C’mon, that’s just a load of semantic malarkey. We’re not taking about a CD-ROM purchased in 1992. No modern software is ever sold “as is” or there wouldn’t be version updates to accommodate things like security patches and OS changes. Find me a single piece of third party software on your system that’s never received an update. The precedent is well established that users can and should reasonably expect maintenance updates within the product’s typical lifespan.

So the question here is very specially whether porting SU 2021 to M-series architecture should be considered a standard maintenance update for users with a recently purchased classic license. Since all post-purchase updates are effectively voluntary on the part of the developer, that is philosophical question, and not one that can be answered merely by citing terms of the TOS. I have never, therefore, suggested that users are legally entitled to such an update; merely that, given the timeframe involved and the precedents established during the very rare occasion of similar events, it would likely be the appropriate and ethical thing to do. To wit, during the PowerPC-to-Intel switch, both Apple and Adobe provided universal binary updates to the most current versions of their pro software purchased at the time of the transition. It would behoove Trimble to do the same and I am confident that other users so affected will agree. If that is not you, then you are off topic.

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There is only 20% wasted with Rosetta2 when an x86 program is executed. Blender is spectacularly fast on M1 being not optimized. It’s good news. Nothing to do with the transition from PowerPC to Intel where SketchUp was particularly slow with Rosetta 1. CAD softwares with a classic license, without subscription, are announced with an upcoming M1 optimization.


Exactly as I predicted, Apple’s transition is already presenting potentially catastrophic problems for subsections of this user base. Because this is region-specific, it likely represents a small number of potential installs at present; but for any in this group, a Classic install will no longer work on new M1 Macs, full stop. To reiterate, baring an update, a professional software application purchased at full price less than 12 months ago has been rendered fully non-functional, due (in this case) to circumstances completely beyond the customers’ control. If this is you, your choices are simply to repurchase an older computer or eat the $700 investment you just made with Trimble. Neither of these solutions are acceptable in my view, and I believe that Trimble owes these users — and any future ones who may encounter this problem in the near-term — a meaningful, forward-thinking solution or it can justly be said that Trimble will have simply ripped us off.


I guess Apple’s decisions are even beyond Trimble’s control. They are in the same boat as you.

You seem to push this issue into a direction that Trimble would be guilty (“ripped [us] off”) and would now be forced to act. After all, it is Apple who changed their future products and it is you who freely takes a purchase decision for a new computer. That is beyond Trimble’s control. I also took in my life purchase decisions that turned out to be a mistake, but I didn’t dare to blame my mistake on others.
With all respect, this argumentation sounds increasingly absurd! I fully understand your disappointment and would also strongly recommend SketchUp/Trimble to come up with a solution to cushion the impact on customers and avoid damage to Trimble’s reputation. But such a solution is goodwill, not debt.


This won’t happen. Your software will still work.

What are you talking about?

It seems to work fine on them so far. And when you buy software in 2020 why would you expect it to run perfectly on hardware released in 2021 and beyond?

It seems to me that Classic licensing is not working for @teejaysplace in his new M1 Mac. I don’t remember anyone reporting this here before, so either no one else has tried, or it is a problem with his network settings.

I think that isn’t what he is saying. MacRumors reports that with macOS 11.3, that some countries will lose Rosetta 2. If you’re in one of those countries you no longer will be able to run applications such as Chrome, Edge, and SketchUp. The easiest work around for now is to not update to 11.3.

The longer term issue is that Apple would drop Rosetta 2 everywhere. If you’re in one of the early countries you would have to freeze your macOS updating to 11.2, and perhaps for most countries it will be 11.4 or 11.5.

So, without Google, or Microsoft, or SketchUp, doing something to make the apps native on M1 (M2, etc), you have a choice between giving up on using those applications, or keeping your macOS frozen in time.

The bigger issue for teejaysplace is that many people will have taken a last chance to buy SketchUp for $695, to make sure to get a permanent 2021 license. If SketchUp only make the program native with the next major version, all of those people would have to switch to subscription in order to be able to update macOS, and the $695 might as well have been a special offer $240 for two years of subscription.

I can’t tell you what is being done about M1 support, but, I will say that all the decision makers about it have read this topic, and understand the point that teejaysplace is making.


In a meeting today, that had most senior decision makers at SketchUp (including the CEO), I talked about the 11.3 update, and gave a link to the MacRumors article. This doesn’t mean I can tell you anything about the M1 plans, but you can be sure that the right people know about the talk of Rosetta 2 being removed in some regions.


I think you may adopt the same strategy as mine. I have a new laptop Mac Intel dedicated to SketchUp Classic license and old software (I go back to SU2018 and don’t update to the new MacOS Big Sur).
At the end of the year I will buy a new Apple Silicon laptop dedicated to new softwares that replace old softwares and technology. During the transition, you have the time to learn another softwares and continue to use your SketchUp abandoned classic licence.
You may have a cheap dedicated M1 to the actual SketchUp version and consider that this computer do not change.

The problem is not Apple that always provide the best for their consumers. M1 is amazing, and it is just the beginning. Too bad for publishers who do not respect their customers. Unlike Adobe, Affinity offered their optimized software from the start at no extra cost. Publishers had time to offer their optimized software, there was a machine offered to publishers before release.

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And thanks Colin for bringing it before the deciders.

Oh for the days when this wasn’t an issue… buy for $500, upgrade for $100; made the base Trimble is still milking.

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