Why do new apps only work with 10.9 +

groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 13, 2006
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I wanted to stick with Mountain Lion for speed, but was forced to upgrade to get the latest software updates. Why do these apps not work on Mountain Lion? The app icon typically shows a circle with a line through it (plus app store will only allow you to download an old version). How has it changed between 10.8 and 10.9? Maybe app nap? Compressed memory? Perhaps a developer could chime in.

Thanks.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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A large amount of APIs have changed between the two versions. Mountain Lion is going on 3 years old and will be end of lifed later this year, if Apple's OS release cycle stays the same.
 

groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 13, 2006
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So I guess it depends on what APIs a developer uses in their program? When you compile, do you choose which version of OS X to compile to?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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You have some flexibility, but most often you can only compile for the current and the previous version.
 

Zorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2006
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Developers can make things compatible for older versions, but it really ties their hands because they aren't able to use any of the new APIs or features from the last few years. It's not really worth crippling the application and holding back on new improvements just because a few people insist on running old software.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,659
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You have some flexibility, but most often you can only compile for the current and the previous version.
If a developer so chooses, they could make an app compatible back to Intel Tiger (Apple did drop PPC support in newer versions of Xcode, unfortunately). APIs are the limiting factor.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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If a developer so chooses, they could make an app compatible back to Intel Tiger (Apple did drop PPC support in newer versions of Xcode, unfortunately). APIs are the limiting factor.
That's more work than it's worth. The shear amount of testing to get an app to build on 10.4-10.10 limits it to simple apps. APIs are not the only limiting factor, but the primary. Others include the developers' skill set, Apple's allowing of Xcode's expansion, and the limitations of the compilers.
 
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