Time to drop OpenGL in favor of Metal

Hello everyone. We’ve loved SketchUp for a very long time now. We built our business into what it is today because of the excellent renderings produced in SketchUp. But, when it’s time, it’s time. Folks at Trimble - you gotta get with the program and drop OpenGL in favor of Metal. Or at least optimize the MAC OS version of SketchUp. We upgrade our hardware every other year. SketchUp is the only app that doesn’t really benefit from the upgrades. Even your own Aaron uses a Mac during the skill builder videos. Now with the M1 Max MacBook Pro, we have a powerhouse sitting on desktop and SketchUp literally just skids along. Thanks for reading my message.


Operating System Market Share

Platform Share
Windows 87.56%
Mac OS 9.54%
Linux 2.35%
Chrome OS 0.41%

Do the math

Maserati market share in recent years:

“In the past, big software developers like Autodesk and Bentley created CAD software solely for PC, while Mac users were limited to (the admittedly excellent) ArchiCAD or Vectorworks for their drafting needs.

Things are now changing, with certain major players now viewing Apple’s large user base of professional designers as a market they can’t afford to ignore…”

The key is market share of professional designers.

I could be wrong but I think they are going to have to move to metal if they are going to stay on Apple because I don’t think Apple silicon is going to support OpenGL forever.

Apple deprecated OpenGL in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 Mojave in favor of Metal, but it is still available as of macOS 11 Big Sur (including Apple silicon devices). The latest version supported for OpenGL is 4.1 from 2011. A proprietary library from Molten – authors of MoltenVK – called MoltenGL, can translate OpenGL calls to Metal.

Love your graphic, though it does demonstrate that statistics can be used to prove almost anything. You could say that in the 15 years from 2002, Maserati increased their market share sixfold. Might make you think every other car on the road was a Mazzer. But actually, it was still only just over half of one per cent of the market share. It isn’t clear what market we are talking about. To better illustrate your point, maybe you need a graph showing market share of performance cars. More pertinent still, what is the market share of Mac OS vs Windows amongst design professionals? It does seem amusing that so many Sketchup Team Members choose to use Macs when the software is not optimised for them.

Even more amusing that SU was even developed for the Mac at all. :thinking:

There is no tongue-in-cheek emoji.

Then there is this:
“Leadership at Vectorworks recently told a UK-based publication that their software on Apple’s ARM-based M1 chip platform is 40 – 200 percent faster than on rival Intel-based platforms (Mac or Windows).”

Not bad for their first crack at it.

“In this interview, we cover how the M1 SoC is different in many respects, including memory limitations and the complete transition to the Metal graphics API for the Mac version of Vectorworks 2022, which is integral to the big picture M1 story.”

Yeah, why bother with the tiny market share. Did someone say Maserati?

I think that the decision for Trimble is a matter of business logic. If the Mac market doesn’t create enough income to justify the development costs, what to do? Two possibilities: Forget about real new features and let development stall while Windows customers pay the maintenance of the proliferation of versions and platforms, or concentrate the effort.
When this was discussed years ago, I remember someone from the SketchUp team inferring that while the core graphics engine is the same the costs of different platforms is negligible, but I understand that switching to Metal would require a total rewrite of the application.

some interestings annotations: