Apple Deprecates OpenGL & OpenCL

Written by Michael Larabel in Apple on 4 June 2018 at 04:31 PM EDT. 107 Comments
With today's announcement of macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple quietly confirmed they are deprecating OpenGL and OpenCL within macOS.

Apple deprecating OpenCL and OpenGL hardly comes as a surprise given in the past few years they have been pushing their Metal API for graphics and compute across macOS and iOS. Additionally, their OpenGL stack hasn't been updated well in years and has lagged behind the OpenGL 4.x upstream advancements out of The Khronos Group.

Sadly, this deprecation doesn't come because of supporting Vulkan, but just their vendor-lock-in Metal API. OpenGL/OpenCL applications will still work in macOS 10.14 and Apple hasn't said when they will remove the actual driver support, but we'll see how much longer they will keep kicking it down the road.
Apps built using OpenGL and OpenCL will continue to run in macOS 10.14, but these legacy technologies are deprecated in macOS 10.14. Games and graphics-intensive apps that use OpenGL should now adopt Metal. Similarly, apps that use OpenCL for computational tasks should now adopt Metal and Metal Performance Shaders.

Certainly a shame they are not supporting Vulkan, but at least Vulkan over Metal via MoltenVK is looking competitive and hopefully we'll see more game studios considering Vulkan/MoltenVK with the need to move on from OpenGL while many studios care about cross-platform support.

With OpenCL initially being developed by Apple and even holding the trademarks to it, it's a shame they are ditching OpenCL too in favor of Metal Performance Shaders. OpenCL hasn't exactly been thriving in terms of adoption by desktop applications and now with macOS deprecating it makes it even less likely we'll see this GPU compute standard finally gain ground in more cross-platform desktop applications.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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