With the introduction of AutoCAD with Specialized Toolsets, several of our clients have asked our team about the many versions of AutoCAD they now have access to. Among the more common questions we’ve received relates to the Mac version of AutoCAD. With 2019 being the current version for Autodesk products (including AutoCAD), why is 2018 the current version of AutoCAD for Mac?
Understanding the macOS Release Cycle
The answer to this question has nothing to do with how invested Autodesk is in the Mac version of AutoCAD, but instead the way Apple typically updates the macOS operating system. Unlike Microsoft who releases major updates to its Windows operating system at different times through the year, Apple typically releases a major new macOS version every fall.
The current version of macOS is 10.13 which is more commonly known as High Sierra. Apple released High Sierra in September 2017. Looking ahead, Apple announced macOS 10.14 named Mojave at their annual developer conference this month. Keeping with recent trends, Apple announced a fall 2018 release for their Mojave update.
Understanding the AutoCAD for Mac Release Cycle
Autodesk typically releases new versions of its software shortly after the start of their fiscal year which begins in February. We saw this year with the release of AutoCAD 2019 (for Windows) in March, and the release of software such as Revit 2019 and Civil 3D 2019 in April. Quick aside, if you ever wondered why the product year was always ahead of the calendar year, it’s because Autodesk names releases based on their fiscal year.
Although Autodesk releases most of its products in the spring, AutoCAD for Mac is typically an exception. The reason for this exception is to ensure the latest version of AutoCAD is also compatible with the latest macOS version. Looking back, Autodesk released AutoCAD 2018 for Mac in November 2017 and AutoCAD 2017 for Mac in December 2016.
Despite 2019 being the current version for most Autodesk products, at the time of writing, 2018 is the current release of AutoCAD for Mac. Autodesk hasn’t announced any information about a possible next release, but the last several releases have succeeded Apple’s release of macOS by a couple months.
Regardless of what’s next, clients subscribing to AutoCAD with Specialized Toolsets now have access to AutoCAD for Windows, Mac, Web, and Mobile along with seven industry-specific toolsets. Although the industry-specific toolsets are only available for Windows, Mac users do have several options for running those applications on their computers.