When will iOS become 64-bit only?

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by maclunian, Jan 28, 2015.

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Which iOS (year) do you think will be the first to exclude 32-bit devices?

  1. iOS 9 (2015)

    11 vote(s)
    16.2%
  2. iOS 10 (2016)

    43 vote(s)
    63.2%
  3. iOS 11 (2017)

    14 vote(s)
    20.6%
  1. maclunian, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015

    maclunian macrumors member

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    #1
    I've heard about apple requiring 64-bit code from app developers in the past few months but wondered if this means the next iOS will cut all 32-bit devices from the line.

    It seems too harsh to be true.

    Which iOS do you think will be the first to exclude 32-bit devices?

    iOS 9, iOS 10 or iOS 11? I'm casting my vote on 11.

    What are your thoughts?

    NB: the year (in the poll) for iOS 9 should be 2015, not 2014.
     
  2. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #2
    Well the iPhone 5c is the only iPhone that's not 64 bit that's still on sale. The iPad Mini one is the only iPad that's still on sale that's not 64 bit. And the iPod touch 5th gen is not 64 bit. I'm expecting to see Apple drop all of those products this year. So I would say that iOS 10 will be 64 bit only.
     
  3. Shawzborne macrumors 6502a

    Shawzborne

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    #3
    This year all updates will require to be 64 bit
     
  4. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

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    #4
    include a 2015 option in the poll, because its a requirement, that all developers have to update to 64 bit
     
  5. LordQ macrumors 68040

    LordQ

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    #5
    I can't help but thinking iOS will ultimately be rewritten using Swift and made 64-bit only.
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #6
    Developers have to make 64-bit-compatible apps, but they still support 32-bit devices. This discussion seems to be about the OS itself dropping support for 32-bit devices completely, which probably won't happen this year (I expect the iPhone 5 to get three major updates, as with most other devices).
     
  7. oldmacs, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015

    oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #7
    The A6 may get support through to iOS 10... So I vote iOS 11 being the first fully 64 Bit version.

    The iPad 2 got 4 major updates, rather than the usual 3 that iPhones get, so there is the chance that the iPad 4 will get the same treatment. Possibly Apple will move to supporting iOS devices for longer as they become more powerful.

    In my opinion some A5 devices (arguably all) will get iOS 9 (Due to huge installed base- over 60 percent of iPad users were on A5 devices in October 2014, plus the fact they are still selling two A5 devices). A5 would therefore be dropped on iOS 10, meaning the iPhone 5 and up, iPad 4 and up, then iOS 11 would be iPhone 5S up, and iPad Air and up.

    Right now, I'd say (Based on the installed base in October 2014) that around 65 percent of the iPhone installed base is 32 Bit and probably the same amount are on 32 bit iPads. While this will shift of course, it will take time.
     
  8. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #8
    I'm saying iOS 11 too. But developers will start developing for 64-bit only as early as iOS 9 because of new APIs that only work with A7+ devices.
     
  9. maclunian thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 15, 2011
    #9
    I believe it could go like this. I'm probably way out but thought I'd include my predictions just for fun. What are your thoughts?

    iOS 9 (Requirement: 1GB RAM)
    iPhone 5
    iPhone 5c
    iPhone 5s
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6 Plus
    iPad with Retina Display
    iPad mini 2
    iPad Air
    iPad mini 3
    iPad Air 2

    iOS 10 (Requirement: Apple A6)
    (iPhone 5 - might get dropped)
    iPhone 5c
    iPhone 5s
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6 Plus
    iPad with Retina Display (4th generation only)
    iPad mini 2
    iPad Air
    iPad mini 3
    iPad Air 2

    iOS 11 (Requirement: Apple A7)
    iPhone 5s
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6 Plus
    iPad mini 2
    iPad Air
    iPad mini 3
    iPad Air 2

    iOS 12 (Requirement: Touch ID - remember iOS 6 needed 256MB RAM and a camera? :rolleyes:)
    iPhone 5s
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6 Plus
    iPad mini 3
    iPad Air 2

    iOS 13 (Requirement: Apple A8)
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6 Plus
    iPad Air 2

    iOS 14 (Requirement: 2GB RAM)
    iPad Air 2
     
  10. GreyOS macrumors 68030

    GreyOS

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    Apr 12, 2012
    #10
    I don't think it will ever be that "iOS Excludes 32 bit devices". Just that iOS updates will keep dropping support of iOS devices until only the more recent 64bit ones are supporteD. Others have speculated on when this might be.

    If you're asking when will iOS drop support of 32bit apps, I'd say not for a very long time, if ever.
     
  11. Fzang macrumors 65816

    Fzang

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    #11
    Probably a way to defragment the line-up, and if a non-camera device had non-significant sales figures it might be the easiest thing to axe it. We both know that people will no doubt shell out the extra $100 to get the camera-version if it's their only choice.
     
  12. nightstalkerz macrumors 6502

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    May 9, 2013
    #12
    I don't think Apple will make iOS 64 bit only anytime soon.

    There's still all the legacy apps and also Apple Watch is supposedly 32 bit as well.
     
  13. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #13
    You have a good point. Apps not updated will still need to run 32 bit. I didn't think of that.

    And if the Apple Watch is 32 bit it runs Watch OS so we're all good :D
     
  14. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    Singapore
    #14
    My guess is in 2017. I am hoping the 6s gets 2gb of ram, which will then quadruple to 4gb of ram 2 years later. When iOS devices start sporting 4gb ram minimum, that's when Apple transitions to 64-bit entirely.

    I don't think they feel particularly threatened in this regard; none of the competition seems anywhere near this either.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #15
    Who knows, but right now, 64bit processing isn't even needed for mobile devices. If apple were to draw the line in the sand, it would be an arbitrary line since there's nothing that requires 64bit processing.
     
  16. oldmacs, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #16
    My thoughts:


    iOS 9: (Same as iOS 8)

    iPhone 4S
    iPhone 5
    iPhone 5s
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6S

    iPad 2
    iPad 3
    iPad 4
    iPad Air
    iPad Air 2
    iPad Air 3

    iPad Mini
    iPad Mini 2
    iPad Mini 3
    iPad Mini 4

    iPod Touch 5
    iPod Touch 6

    iOS 10: (Min A6)

    iPhone 5
    iPhone 5s
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6S
    iPhone 7


    iPad 4
    iPad Air
    iPad Air 2
    iPad Air 3
    iPad Air 4


    iPad Mini 2
    iPad Mini 3
    iPad Mini 4

    iPod Touch 6

    iOS 11: (Min 64 bit)

    iPhone 5S
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6S
    iPhone 7
    iPHone 7S


    iPad Air
    iPad Air 2
    iPad Air 3
    iPad Air 4
    iPad Air 5


    iPad Mini 2
    iPad Mini 3
    iPad Mini 4
    iPad Mini 5


    iPod Touch 6
    iPod Touch 7

    Apple's recent moves in for example giving the iPad 2 a 4th major update, keeping A5 devices around so long etc signal that they're not bound to some 'x device will only get 3 updates' mentality. I think iOS devices are increasing with power so much, that older devices are still capable of running updates.

    This combined with the fact that a large number of people are still on 32 Bit iOS devices, and that they sell 3 32 bit devices currently would tell me theres a little way to go yet. Add to that the Apple TV that is also on iOS, which is still 32 bit.
     
  17. bozzykid macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #17
    That wouldn't even be possible to write the entire OS in Swift. I can't even see why Apple would want to do that. Plus, they could never require manufacturers like qualcomm to write their drivers in Swift. The language used for apps has little to do with how the entire OS is designed.
     
  18. tryphone macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2015
    #18
    I'm not too worried about it. I have a 5c (a6). When and if iOS only supports 64 but devices, I will have a 5s at the very least. Or maybe I'll switch back to android.
     
  19. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Washington DC
    #19
    I doubt it will have anything to do with a decision to drop 32 bit support, but rather just a matter of timing. Once the 32 bit devices pass the point where they feel the need to support them, that will be that.

    What I mean is, just look at the calendar and how it's worked historically. Probably the same going forward.
     
  20. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    San Francisco, CA
    #20
    I would love if they just cut the cord a bit early on people and put the iPhone 5 / 5C owners out to pasture with iOS 8, but something tells me that we're all getting iOS9... and then iOS10 will gut the non 64 bit code.
     
  21. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #21
    If Apple follows their history in terms of supporting devices, all A5 devices will be dropped in the coming update. Now before someone says 'Apple is still selling A5 devices', please look at the 4th Gen iPod touch. It was sold until just a few weeks before WWDC 2013 where iOS 7 was announced. Guess what iOS 7 didn't support? The 4th Gen Touch.

    Timing says iOS will be 64-bit only by iOS 10 as iOS 9 will be the last update for A6 devices (iPhone 5, 5c, iPad 4). I'd expect a 'Snow Leopard' type of update for iOS 11. That update will officially remove any and all legacy code for 32-bit devices and apps that have not been ported to ARM-64 will have 1 last year to re-write their app. That update might also bring a complete rewrite of the OS, top to bottom; something that has not been done in years. iOS 12 will require A8 and newer (limited support on the A8) and will kill the 32 to 64 bit translation.
     
  22. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #22
    The only reason the iPad 2 got iOS 8 was because it has the same exact SoC of the iPhone 4s which was still being sold when iOS 8 was announced. Had it been slightly different (slower clock speed, less RAM, slower GPU, etc) they would have killed it. Really Apple goes on 3 updates on the iPhone line. If that means 4 for the iPad line, so be it.

    Honestly I would like to see percentages of how many 32-bit iOS devices are still being used out there. Right now the number might still be quite high, but in two years I see most of them being replaced with 64-bit devices.

    Regarding the 4 iOS devices still sold that are 32b (including Apple TV), I see them being replaced or discontinued within a year. The iPod touch will be updated or discountinued between now and June. Small upgrade keeping the same display but with an A7. 1st Gen iPad mini will just be dropped period. Apple TV will see an update at WWDC and will be released shortly thereafter. iPhone 5c will be dropped at the end of the year with the 5s taking its place so that's going to take care of itself.

    Now on the off chance that Apple does continue supporting the A5 in iOS 9, maybe the touch and iPad will remained untouched for another year or safe until the end of the year. Apple TV I see getting bumped all the way to the A8 so they can boast that it'll do 4k.
     
  23. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #23
    The iPad 2 was kept for a number of reasons. When iOS 8 was released it made up 29 percent of iPads, larger than any other iPad, and the fact that it is identical to the iPad Mini 1 in performance terms, and was sold up to March 2014 brand new.

    Sure the 32 bit number will come down, but it will take its time.

    I think iOS 9 will support the A5. As of October the iPad market share was made up of: 27 percent iPad 2, 20 percent iPad Mini 1, 17 percent iPad 3. Thats a huge number, and while it will come down, it takes a deal of time. Plus they are still selling that iPad mini 1 & iPod Touch 5th Gen (Both of which i would assume will be discontinued by Mid year) - and Apple tend to give products a year of support after they are discontinued (besides the iPod Touch 4).

    It is completely feasible if they do a snow leopard style release, which focuses on battery life and performance plus some new features.

    ----------

    You do have a point there, however the Touch 4 is just one instance. This time there are two devices, not one, and the iPad Mini 1 holds a fairly significant market share. All A5 devices combined hold a massive market share (which as i have said is coming down, but slowly).

    Prior to the 3GS, Apple only supported 2 major updates on their iPhones, and the iPad 2 was the first iPad to receive 4 major updates - so Apple is not tied to some sort of this device gets x number of updates. From my observations its based on how long since the device was last sold, how well it will perform and market share.

    In the event they get iOS 9 running well enough to be released for the iPad Mini 1 - there is then no reason for it not to run on the identical iPad 2 (Identical in Processor, GPU and RAM). Similarly the iPod Touch 5 has the same Processor, GPU and RAM as the iPhone 4S.
     
  24. maclunian, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015

    maclunian thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 15, 2011
    #24
    We forgot something, though...

    The :apple:A5X in iPad 3...

    It has twice the ram and gpu of the :apple:A5, and while the :apple:A6 and :apple:A6X chips have faster CPU and GPU speeds (per core) than that of :apple:A5X, the 3rd generation iPad is quite a cut above the standard :apple:A5.

    My feeling is that apple will do the following as the years go by:
    1. Drop support for devices w/less than 1gb RAM, thus the only A5 chip to be included will be :apple:A5X
    2. Drop support for A5 devices including A5X, and only support :apple:A6 and above.
    3. Drop support for 32-bit devices.

    Remember, Apple has never dropped support for more than device in the same product category.
     
  25. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #25
    The A5X has more power, in the GPU but due to the retina display it still benchmarks bellow the iPad 2- the only real advantage is the 1 GB of ram, and again most of that advantage is probably swallowed by shared video memory needed for the retina display. The iPad 3 funnily enough is probably the device it makes the most sense to discontinued support for: it has been off that market for 2.5 years compared to the iPad mini 1 and iPod touch 5 that are still for sale, the 4S that has been off the market for 5 months and the iPad 2 that has been off the market for 10 months. It also has a lower market share than the iPad mini, iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. However discontinuing support for it would make no sense in many other ways so its probably only going to loose support if all other A5 devices do.

    I truly believe that apple has the intention of having A5 support with iOS 9 - they kept their top of the line iPod as A5 and the one if their iPad minis as A5. Perhaps if they had kept one A5 device it would make sense but not with two. Web statistics show that iOS 9 was in Testing in October so I'm sure they factored iOS 9 into their decision to keep those two A5 devices on the market.

    Regarding the touch 4 - this is an interesting one. If you follow the idea that development of iOS 7 had begun under Scott forestall in 2012 and then was taken over by Johnny Ive's team in early 2013, then it sort of makes sense. When the iPod touch 4 was kept alongside the iPod touch 5 at the October 2012 event, it could have been perfectly feasible that forestalls version of iOS 7 (which would not have had the visual gimmicks that the version of iOS 7 we know does) was able to run on the iPod touch 4. Then when Johnny Ive took over development, his version became the visual overhaul we know (a far more demanding version) and apple realised that it would not run well at all on the touch 4, so it was discontinued.

    As far as we know the iOS development team isn't going to change leadership this year so what ever development version they have of iOS 9 is probably the barebones of what we will see at WWDC 2015 and it probably runs reasonably well on the A5 - thus they continue to sell those two A5 devices. My theory probably sounds stupid but I'm sicking to it :p
     

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