Apple’s brilliant move: Apple’s iOS sheds its 32-bit legacy this fall

“One thing that’s quite interesting about iOS 11 is that it will totally remove support for 32-bit iOS applications — from here on out, only 64-bit applications will be allowed in the Apple App Store,” Ashraf Eassa reports for The Motley Fool.

“Although this might seem like something of an inconvenience for app developers, as well as for iOS users who want to upgrade to the new version of iOS and keep using 32-bit apps that the developers didn’t bother to update, this is unequivocally a good thing for Apple’s software ecosystem,” Eassa reports. “One obvious effect of this new rule is that it’ll go a long way to cleaning up the Apple App Store.”

“Apple’s tight control of the hardware and software is paying off nicely, as it is allowing the company to go from introducing its first 64-bit smartphone in late 2013 to completely making obsolete its 32-bit iPhones just four years later,” Eassa reports. “Now that’s something only Apple can do.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple move its iPhone lines to include at least 4GB of memory, either.

Beter performance and memory access increases are always good things!

Apple: High Sierra will be last macOS release to support 32-bit apps ‘without compromise’ – June 29, 2017
iPhone gamers, brace yourselves for the app-ocalypse: Apple’s coming iOS will kill off some beloved games – July 24, 2017
Apple unveils all-new App Store – June 5, 2017
Apple’s App Store downloads surge – June 1, 2017
Apple announces global developer App Store earnings top $70 billion – June 1, 2017


  1. Much has been said that consumers are hanging onto their iPhones longer than 2 years. While there is anecdotal evidence that “some” are doing just that, recent surveys reveal that the 2 year upgrade cycle is alive and well.

    This move by Apple will (at the very least) drastically accelerate the upgrade cycle on older iPhones. Ordinarily this would be very good news except for one little thing: users of 4 year old iPhones will most likely upgrade to a newer USED iPhone.

  2. Also, Apple can drop 32 bit support in the A11 and subsequent processors, which saves silicon and energy and potentially gives headroom for higher performance.

    1. less compiling, less testing, and less complexity, which reduces potential for bugs. But maybe most importantly, they will drop Carbon (32 bit only) entirely, i.e. the last traces of the transition from Classic Mac OS. That can also lead to improved efficiency.

    2. The biggest one is memory/space. The 32 and 64-bit code for system frameworks has to reside “side by side” in both memory and flash storage. If you’re running both 32 and 64 bit apps, there are a lot of system components that have to keep two versions of the same thing “open” at the same time. This only applies to code (images, sounds, screen layouts, etc. can usually be shared), but it still matters.

      A side benefit is security. Some mechanisms like address space randomization exist only in (or work much better in) 64-bit code because of the larger potential pool of “addresses.”

      There is a small downside in that 64-bit code is always a little larger than 32-bit because every internal reference to other code or a memory object (a “pointer”) is twice as large, but it generally doesn’t amount to more than a few percent.

  3. Would someone please tell me:

    – Is there a list somewhere of iPhone apps that will NOT work in 64-bit?

    I only rely on a few and would rather not upgrade for differing reasons:

    – Stitcher
    – Agogo 1.5.2
    – WAZE
    – Google Voice: 1.9.9622
    – Dexcom 1.7.1


    PS, and while not a Luddite, I cut the cable-TV cord 6 years ago, and STILL pay too damned much for an “on-ramp” to the internet.

    1. Consumers who use Android devices don’t care about OS upgrades. They bought the device because it was inexpensive and that’s all that really matters. You do realize that Android is still growing in market share percentage and no matter what measures Apple takes, nothing is going to change that fact. Most consumers in this world are hoping for the day of $100 smartphones and Android will be there to serve them. Things like OS fragmentation or lack of security and privacy simply doesn’t mean anything to the billions of people who will continue to buy Android smartphones and use Google’s free services.

      Apple can’t compete with Google even if Android users are three or four OS upgrades behind. Most consumers simply don’t care about those things. Any new OS is trivial and unimportant to most smartphone users. Ask any Android smartphone user what’s the latest Android OS and they won’t have a clue.

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