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Apple to Phase Out 32-Bit Mac Apps Starting in January 2018

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple is already putting an end to 32-bit apps on iOS devices with iOS 11, and soon the company will make the same changes on its macOS operating system.

During its Platform State of the Union keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple told developers that macOS High Sierra will be the "last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromises."


Starting in January of 2018, all new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must be 64-bit, and all apps and app updates submitted must be 64-bit by June 2018. With the next version of macOS after High Sierra, Apple will begin "aggressively" warning users about 32-bit apps before eventually phasing them out all together.

In iOS 11, 32-bit apps cannot be installed or launched. Attempting to open a non-supported 32-bit app gives a message notifying users that the app needs to be updated before it can run on iOS 11.


Prior to phasing out 32-bit apps on iOS 11, Apple gave both end users and developers several warnings, and the company says it will follow the same path for the macOS operating system.

(Thanks, Cameron!)

Article Link: Apple to Phase Out 32-Bit Mac Apps Starting in January 2018
 

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
1,299
375
It won't exactly be the same path, because users still have the option of directly downloading apps from developers on macOS. It seemed that the enforcement (for now) happens through the Mac App Store. Maybe there will be OS enforcement in a year...

Sad. I use a number of great legacy apps that are no longer supported. This will kill them.

Only if you upgrade your OS.

There are still users that are running Snow Leopard and PowerPC apps (all hail the great Rosetta) on their older Macs.

Do we get our money back for our old apps that don't run ?

The check is already in the mail. You have been reimbursed -- with interest. Happy? ;)
 
Last edited:

garirry

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2013
1,543
3,856
Canada is my city
At least it's better than the phasing out of PowerPC apps, Lion decided to just drop support for them out of nowhere without any warning, when Snow Leopard was the first system that was only compatible with Intel. Considering that Lion and newer systems require a 64-bit Mac, I think we got plenty of time to phase out 32-bit apps.
 

Victor Mortimer

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2016
261
611
Why?

Why would they go out of their way to break backwards compatibility AGAIN?

I'm still running a 10.6 VM so I can use some PowerPC apps that will never be upgraded.

I'm still running SheepShaver so I can use Classic apps that will never be upgraded.

Apple could have taken steps to avoid both of those problems.

And now they're going to deliberately break 32-bit apps? This is really inexcusable.

You want to know why I need more than 16GB RAM in a laptop? This sort of thing is a BIG part of why.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,230
9,474
Florida, USA
Anyone else find it annoying how quickly Apple obsoletes older software on their platforms?

Even annoying-as-hell Windows can often run 20 year old binaries. TWO DECADES ago.

Right now the oldest binaries MacOS can run are from the PowerPC -> Intel switch era, circa 2006. Whatever macOS comes after High Sierra will probably obsolete 32 bit x86 binaries, which will pull the date even more forward.

They don't seem to care about preserving the functionality of legacy software. Some apps will never be updated because the developers no longer care about it, went out of business, etc... This software is lost to time. This is even MORE the case on iOS where you can't even GET the software anymore. At least on macOS you can keep archives of old apps around.
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68030
Feb 11, 2007
2,509
3,712
Sad. I use a number of great legacy apps that are no longer supported. This will kill them.

I am curious, like what?
[doublepost=1496796453][/doublepost]
Anyone else find it annoying how quickly Apple obsoletes older software on their platforms?

Even annoying-as-hell Windows can often run 20 year old binaries. TWO DECADES ago.

Right now the oldest binaries MacOS can run are from the PowerPC -> Intel switch era, circa 2006. Whatever macOS comes after High Sierra will probably obsolete 32 bit x86 binaries, which will pull the date even more forward.

They don't seem to care about preserving the functionality of legacy software. Some apps will never be updated because the developers no longer care about it, went out of business, etc... This software is lost to time. This is even MORE the case on iOS where you can't even GET the software anymore. At least on macOS you can keep archives of old apps around.
You must be new here? Apple has done this for decades. Part of reason Windows has had so much trouble is the complexity of decades of compatibility...
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,230
9,474
Florida, USA
It won't exactly be the same path, because users still have the option of directly downloading apps from developers on macOS. It seemed that the enforcement (for now) happens through the Mac App Store. Maybe there will be OS enforcement in a year...



Only if you upgrade your OS.

There are still users that are running Snow Leopard and PowerPC apps (all hail the great Rosetta) on their older Macs.



The check is already in the mail. You have been reimbursed -- with interest. Happy? ;)

Staying on old OS releases is bad for security. It means if you want to run older software and new, you have to keep multiple computers around, or run virtual machines. All of which is a pain in the ass.

There's no reason to get rid of 32-bit support. Having it doesn't slow anything down. Sure, the libraries on the system use a tiny bit of space, but it's microscopic on today's huge media. Hell, even Rosetta, which let you run PowerPC code on Intel, was a tiny library.
 

apparatchik

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2008
182
368
Apple still sells snow leopard reinstall media (usb and dvd), if you dont have one for any reason you can grab a 2009 mbp or 2010 mac mini on the second hand market (they have replaceable hdd, disc drive an RAM), and boot it with a clean install of SL for legacy apps (in all their Power-PC and 32 bit glory) for the foreseebable future. Or you can just have a VM. I see nothig wrong with since we have had 64 bit macs since 10 years ago, no body forcing an edge case user to upgrade to High Sierra sucesor in the fall of 2018.
 

inkswamp

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2003
2,761
846
So, GarageBand 6.0.5 isn't 64-bit. Great. Now, I'll be forced to stay on an older OS/hardware in the future or upgrade to the buggy and terribly designed GarageBand 10 that they seem disinterested in fixing and updating (much less, returning all the features that were removed from earlier versions.)

Every day, fewer and fewer reasons to stick with Apple.... :/
 

tizeye

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2013
1,154
8,589
Orlando, FL
Now if "Delete" would just mean delete. You know, those free apps that are junk but you are stuck with them forever. Or city maps to cities you went to on vacation that served their purpose...but you won't be going back. You may delete them but the reside in the cloud taking up space awaiting your re-download with the 'cloud' icon rather than the 'get' button.
 
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Victor Mortimer

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2016
261
611
I am curious, like what?
[doublepost=1496796453][/doublepost]
You must be new here? Apple has done this for decades. Part of reason Windows has had so much trouble is the complexity of decades of compatibility...

No. Apple has NOT done this for decades.

Do you have any idea how much work Apple put into making 68x00 binaries just work on PowerPC? And do you remember how incredibly seamless that transition was? Stuff JUST WORKED. You didn't even know it was a 68k binary running on your Mac in 1998.

The Mac OS 9 to 10 transition was a pain, but Classic worked beautifully until Apple killed it in 2007. That's right, over 20 years of backwards compatibility for some apps, all the way up until 10 years ago with 10.5.

So yeah, a decade of this is what we've had to endure.

Windows has so much trouble because they use a monolithic database known as the Registry to store a LOT of things that shouldn't be stored in the same database. It was a horrible mistake, a workaround for limitations of their previous versions, and they never saw fit to stop using it for new things. If M$ had decided to contain that mess before XP, they'd have solved a lot of problems, if they'd decided to contain it before 7, they'd still be better off. But no, it's still used in 10.
 

a.jfred

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2010
393
26
Austin, TX
Aaaand CS4 for the Mac is 32 Bit, not 64. Yeah, I'm behind the times on updating, but I don't use it often enough to justify the $$$$$$ for the upgrades, let alone Adobe's "subscription" service; and honestly, all I need are Photoshop and Bridge, not the rest of it.

Definitely time to find alternatives. I have Affinity, I need to figure out how to use it.
 

modemthug

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2010
209
584
Why?

Why would they go out of their way to break backwards compatibility AGAIN?

I'm still running a 10.6 VM so I can use some PowerPC apps that will never be upgraded.

I'm still running SheepShaver so I can use Classic apps that will never be upgraded.

Apple could have taken steps to avoid both of those problems.

And now they're going to deliberately break 32-bit apps? This is really inexcusable.

You want to know why I need more than 16GB RAM in a laptop? This sort of thing is a BIG part of why.

So you want modern support for huge amounts of RAM or legacy support for all of your obsolete applications?

It's not inexcusable, it's a technical necessity. They're not doing it just to troll you or be mean.
 

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,691
Why would you EOL 32-bit userland apps? This is absurd and Apple is being lazy. Are you trying to tell me that the High Sierra successor won't have 32-bit versions of the libraries?

Memory, storage, bandwidth, quality control resources. Windows is the perfect example, the 32 bit Win 10 cumulative updates are half the size as the 64 bit versions, a difference of about 300 MB each month.
 

napabar

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2008
317
481
Why?

Why would they go out of their way to break backwards compatibility AGAIN?

I'm still running a 10.6 VM so I can use some PowerPC apps that will never be upgraded.

I'm still running SheepShaver so I can use Classic apps that will never be upgraded.

Apple could have taken steps to avoid both of those problems.

And now they're going to deliberately break 32-bit apps? This is really inexcusable.

You want to know why I need more than 16GB RAM in a laptop? This sort of thing is a BIG part of why.

Wow, you literally have no idea how technology works, especially if you think Macs should still run pre OS X apps.

Phasing out old architecture makes the OS run smoother. Look what a convoluted mess Windows is by comparison.
[doublepost=1496798391][/doublepost]A pure 64-bit OS executing no 32-bit code. Now that's an OS I want.

Welcome to the 21st century.
 

busyscott

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2015
183
1,567
California
I'm digging the 64-bit only transition, I don't understand all the hate. If you don't like it, you're perfectly welcome to stay on the older OS, many of my production macs are one to two OS's behind because updates often break compatibility and it takes time for software to catch up.

I know guys who are still rocking Snow Leopard in recording studio's because they have hardware interfaces that aren't supported by the devs anymore. So what? Buy new hardware or don't update the OS.
 

Mr. Dee

macrumors 68030
Dec 4, 2003
2,583
3,888
Jamaica
Options:
Dual boot 10.13 and 10.14 until you can find suitable alternatives
Get a cheap older MacBook Pro with a compatible version of macOS
Virtualization
 
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