The February 2021 release of Visual Studio Code brings several new features to Microsoft’s modern code editor, key among support for M1-based Macs.
“We are happy to announce our first release of stable Apple Silicon builds this iteration,” Microsoft explains. “Users on Macs with M1 chips can now use VS Code without emulation with Rosetta, and will notice better performance and longer battery life when running VS Code. Thanks to the community for self-hosting with the Insiders build and reporting issues early in the iteration.”
This update increments Visual Studio Code to version 1.54. Microsoft highlights the following updates in this release:
- Apple Silicon builds – VS Code is now available in stable for Apple Silicon.
- Accessibility improvements – Better word navigation on Windows and roles for views and buttons.
- Persistent terminal processes – Local terminal processes are restored on window reload.
- Product Icon Themes – Personalize your VS Code icon imagery with Product Icon Themes.
- Timeline view improvements – Compare changes across Git history timeline entries.
- Auto reload Notebooks – Notebooks automatically reload when their file changes on disk.
- Remote ports table view – Remote ports now shown in a table widget.
- Brackets extensions – Use Brackets keyboard shortcuts in VS Code.
- Troubleshooting extensions blog post – Learn to troubleshoot extensions using extension bisect.
It’s not entirely clear, but I believe that users with M1-based Macs who update Visual Studio Code will simply get the Universal version of the app, which works natively on both M1- and Intel-based Macs. That is, they shouldn’t have to uninstall Visual Studio Code and then reinstall it. But those who wish to just install the M1 (or Intel) version of Code can do so as well.