Is this the future for PPC users?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by guernica, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. guernica macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #1
    Right now every app will be a universal binary, but for how long? Right now it's obvious that apps will be universal, but a time will come that apple won't release for OSX anymore and that developers just develop for Intel processors because it takes to much effort to keep it universal (think games)

    Well, as soon as you start seeing icons like the one pictured below, you can start worrying (and start upgrading?)

    The picture shows the intel only build of Handbrake, which will become universal ofcourse, with an grayed out icon and when you start it it says that you have the wrong architecture. Hope that won't be a common thing seen, but good that OS X let's you know what's going on..

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

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    #2
    Considering once an app is written to be universal it's as simple as checking the box marked "PowerPC" I don't think there's anything to worry about for some time.

    Apple has made it so easy for developers to make universal binaries that it's in their (the developer's) best interests to check that box and move on with life.
     
  3. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

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    #3
    Any developer who can't be bothered to click the check box for PowerPC couldn't be developing anything worthwhile. :rolleyes:
     
  4. mattraehl macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2005
    #4
    PPC install base

    Apple has sold millions of G4 and G5 base computers over the past several years. Currently, Intel-based Macs are an incredibly small percentage of all Macs in use. Owners of these Macs are the second-class citizens for now, and it will be some time before that changes. Two or three years from now, it is much more likely that the app you want will require a newer version of OS X than a new computer. (Even now, many popular applications require Tiger) And Apple has been pretty good about supporting old hardware with OS X. The last time you could have bought a new Mac that doesn't meet Tiger's system requirements was August of 2000 (Clamshell iBooks got FireWire in Sept. 2000). So all Macs sold in the last 5 1/2 years can run the latest and greatest (albeit slowly). And going all the way back to January 1999 (7 years!), the Blue & White PowerMac G3 can run Tiger. So I wouldn't worry too much- you'll want a new Mac long before people stop compiling for PPC.
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #5
    This question has bee asked too many times to count, but the answer is always the same. Apple is committed to supporting its PPC-based Macs for five years after the PPC>Intel transition is complete. The transition is schedule to be complete by the Summer of 2007. This means that Apple will support PPC-based Macs until 2012. Think of it another way--Apple will still sell PPC-based Macs a year from now.

    Elsewhere on the 'Net today, performance comparisons of Intel-based Macs in real world applications are being made public. The picture is emerging of fast Intel-based Macs, but also of PPC-based Macs that more than hold their own.

    After all of the work that Apple has done to persuade developers to switch to Universal Binaries, there is little reason to believe that it will change course in two or three years. Any developer with the sense God gave red brick will want to release Universal Binaries for the foreseeable future.
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #6
    Steve revised this timetable during the MWSF keynote and declared that the transition would be complete by the end of 2006. This time next year Apple should be all Intel.
     
  7. lom8104 macrumors regular

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    Feb 7, 2005
    #7
    Couldn't Apple just make Rosetta work both ways?:confused:
     
  8. GregA macrumors 65816

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    Mar 14, 2003
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    Sydney Australia
    #8
    I believe that any developer moving from PPC to Intel will continue to offer universal binaries for many years.

    However, take a look at WINE and Crossover Office. Any developer who uses Codeweaver's technology to port from Windows to Mac-Intel will have an app that is not a universal binary. I wouldn't be surprised if some developers do that. http://www.codeweavers.com/about/general/press/?id=20050622

    Of course, maybe Apple will release Rosetta for the reverse... but I suspect that today's PPCs won't emulate 2007-8 Intel chips adequately.
     
  9. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #9
    It would not be as simple as clicking a check box! It would take a lot of time and effort and cost Apple a lot of money. Probably not worth it as PPC customers have already paid and Apple are not going to get more cash!
     
  10. semaja2 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2005
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    Adelaide
    #10
    btw guys it isnt as easy as ticking a box always, some software might need hardware access meaning the intel bit or ppc for that fact, things that dont use hardware most likley will not be affected and can tick the box but optimizing the code for ppc might be a different story
     
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #11
    Good point(s) mattraehl! :)
     
  12. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Yvan256

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    #12
    Steve said Apple will have switched its entire line of computers to Intel before the end of 2006.

    Edit: robbieduncan is faster than me.
     
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #13
    Not only is it very simple to build a universal application by just clicking a box (once you have removed all stupid processor dependencies, it is much easier not to introduce new once), but in many companies it will be essential anyway, because you don't want to buy new computers for everyone.

    Building Intel-only applications means that you have to buy new computers for every developer, because they couldn't use PowerPCs for development anymore. If you have ten developers with PowerMacs, you buy one Intel Mac because you have to, but the PowerMacs only get replaced when they break down. Three years from now, those ten developers might have five Intel Macs and five PowerMacs. Building an Intel-only program means you have to buy five new Macs for those developers.
     
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #14
     
  15. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #15
    Yes he did, during the MWSF 2006 keynote (as I said above). The guides agree with me too.
     
  16. mattraehl macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2005
    #16
    Good Point

    This is a great point. Developers are Mac users like the rest of us, and as long as they still have PPC Macs, they will be building Universal Binaries.
     
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #17
    Old hardware is never supported, switch or not.

    There is more to it then simply checking a box. The biggest part is testing. Developers will need to keep old PPC hardware around. As the hardware ages and gets hard to support they will remove it from thier test lab. Once the hardware is gone code stops being bug free on it.

    Look at an example where the architecture did NOT change. How many PC developers support the 486 or even a 100Mhz Pentium running Windows 3.1. So even without the CPU switch old Macs would become less suported as time goes by. IIt's just economics. On average people don't buy new software for old computers

    This is the third CPU switch that Apple has made. Remember the 6502 in the Apple II and then they came out with Lissa followed by the Mac which was 68000 based. They went throu multiple versions of the M68k (like they did with PPC, g3, g4, g5) Finallyhey dumpped the M68k for a PPC and now they are going to Intel. You can pretty muh tell what's going to happen be looking to the past.

    I think the elemetry school nearest my house where my daughter goes to second grade still has some 6502 based Apples in the Kindergarden rooms
    They work as well as they ever did

    There is always Linux. It runs on 68000 based Macs, pre-G3 Macs, Intel 486, old 32-bit Sparc and offers a why to run modern software on old hardware
     

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