Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
BLACK FRIDAY DEAL: Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom--A Lifetime Subscription of PureVPN at $48 with coupon code "BFRIDAY20" ×
IOS Iphone Apple

The Future of iOS is 64-Bit Only -- Apple To Stop Support For 32-Bit Apps (computerworld.in) 105

Your ability to run 32-bit apps on an iOS device is coming to an end. As several other Apple news sites have reported, Apple has updated the pop-up warning in the iOS 10.3 beta to say that the 32-bit app you're running "will not work with future versions of iOS." The warning goes on to say that the "developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility." From a ComputerWorld article (edited for clarity): In October 2014, Apple told developers that all new apps created after February 1, 2015 must have 64-bit support. Shortly after, Apple announced that all updates to apps must also be 64-bit compatible. Any 32-bit apps submitted to Apple after June 2015 would be rejected. Last September, Apple announced that it was going to remove apps from the App Store that did not "function as intended, don't follow current review guidelines, or are outdated." Presumably, this would include apps that did not meet the 64-bit requirement. Apple does not state which version of iOS will be 64-bit only, but since this is a major development, you can probably assume that this will happen in iOS 11. An announcement will likely be made during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference this summer. The switch to 64-bit only support means that older iOS devices built on 32-bit architecture will not be able to upgrade to the new iOS. This includes the iPhone 5, 5c, and older, the standard version of the iPad (so not the Air or the Pro), and the first iPad mini.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Future of iOS is 64-Bit Only -- Apple To Stop Support For 32-Bit Apps

Comments Filter:
  • Assumption (Score:5, Informative)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @09:43AM (#53780399) Homepage
    Apple has said no such thing and this is assumption based on extrapolation of some dialog text. I think it is likely, but this is being presented as fact when it's still assumption at this point.
    • Well, did you see the ComputerWorld artilce copied in TFS? Because it says Apple did say that.

      • by mccalli ( 323026 )
        It doesn't. Apple have said you must support 64bit. They haven't said you must drop 32bit. Universal apps could still be supported.
        • So in your world, 'must support 64bit' isn't 'must drop 32bit'?

          • by mccalli ( 323026 )
            Correct. Universal apps, or fat binaries or whatever you want to call them, are the norm in Appleland and have been for quite some time. You distribute a single application and the system picks which binary to actually run.
          • Re:Assumption (Score:4, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @10:01AM (#53780529) Journal
            Correct. Previously you were allowed 64-bit only, 32-bit only, and 32- or 64-bit universal. Now you are not allowed 32-bit only. That said, 64-bit does have some quite significant advantages for iOS, so I don't imagine Apple wanting to keep the 32-bit code around in the OS for longer than they have to. If you've got an iOS device with a 32-bit processor, your days of updates are probably numbered.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Khyber ( 864651 )

              "That said, 64-bit does have some quite significant advantages for iOS, so I don't imagine Apple wanting to keep the 32-bit code around in the OS for longer than they have to."

              64-bit is nothing but extended 32-bit x86 (at least, as far as Intel/AMD goes.) There's literally no reason for essentially basic x86 code to not fucking run. There are tons of programs that simply do not benefit from having a 64-bit address space and forcing them to code for it is just adding unnecessary bloat and vulnerability.

              • iOS devices are not x86 based - they're ARM - so no "basic x86 code" will run on them at all.

                The only place that iOS runs on x86 is in the simulator on OS X and such x86 code is not included in builds for iOS devices.

                64-bit ARM is different from 32-bit ARM, and not even remotely like "extended 32-bit x86".

                • by Khyber ( 864651 )

                  Okay, so basic 32-bit ARM code doesn't run on 64-bit ARM hardware.

                  Way to kill ARM's usefulness, Apple. Meanwhile, on my Android phone, I can run whatever the fuck I want without issue.

                  Further proof that Apple isn't about giving people what they need, only what they want, and they take advantage of it to the degradation of the computing community.

                  • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

                    32-bit code runs fine on 64-bit ARM processors: Apple has been doing it for years. 64-bit ARM is not not a minor extension to 32-bit ARM as is the case on x86, though. Apple may have decided they want to slim down iOS by removing all the 32-bit binaries/libraries, or they may have decided that they want to drop the 32-bit instruction set from their processors to spend the transistors on something else. Or perhaps they've decided to do no such thing, since this is all based on assumptions from a textbox in a

                  • Apple is forcing the app developers to keep their applications updated. On the source code side, they have to do some minor work.

                    Apparently you think this is a bad thing. Why?

                    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

                      If it isn't broken (example, a guitar tuning program) why the fuck fix it?

                      You fail at living up to your name, give it up.

                  • Way to kill ARM's usefulness, Apple. Meanwhile, on my Android phone, I can run whatever the fuck I want without issue.

                    Assuming what you said is true (which it isn't), I don't think Apple, even with their architectural license from ARM, can fundamentally change how ARM 32 bit APIs work. By the way, you do realize that Android suffers from the same problem because your Android OS makes the same ARM API calls.

                    • Android binaries are not native apps(with a few exceptions like ndk). 32 vs 64 bit argument is not really relevant for Android.

                    • It is relevant because a 32 bit ARM processor simply won't run 64 bit applications whether it runs on Android or iOS. The OS itself makes the calls not the Apps in Android, but the Apps cannot suddenly do 64 bit operations without some major tweaking.
                    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

                      Aren't most Android apps essentially some form of Java byte code which is agnostic in terms of the word width of the virtual machine in which it is running?

              • Article is still talking about iOS here, which is not x86 in any way. It's ARM.

              • \There's literally no reason for essentially basic x86 code to not fucking run.

                You believe that because you don't understand how powerful an MMU can be when coupled with non-volatile storage and how difficult and resource intensive maintaining a 32-bit compatibility layer can be.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                64bit is clearly the way forward with the memory sizes in mobile devices.

                It makes little sense to maintain the compatablity/interop part of your operating system if you're working away from 32bit. Apple has tight control of their environment and there isn't any good legacy reason to keep 32bit applications.

                Apple shipped the 5s, their flagship phone, with a 64bit arm CPU when nobody was even /sampling/ 64bit arm silicon. Apple has a big jump on 64bit and they've been working towards this for years.. When the

              • Re:Assumption (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @01:44PM (#53782815) Homepage Journal

                There's literally no reason for essentially basic x86 code to not fucking run.

                ISA aside, there sure is: a tiny computer with limited resources is spending quite a bit of them on providing a 32bit compatibility layer of libraries, etc. Tossing that would allow those resources to more efficiently run the other applications, save battery, use less of the small and finite flash storage, and so on. In the specific case of an iPhone, it likely also means that the apps in question are probably using ancient API versions that Apple would like to deprecate, low-res graphics, have fixed-size and fixed-ratio display canvases, and aren't taking advantage of any modern features.

                None of those matter so much on a PC with (comparatively) enormous storage, huge amounts of RAM, and unlimited power drawn from a wall outlet. They're a pretty big deal on a phone, though.

                • Tossing that would allow those resources to more efficiently run the other applications, save battery, use less of the small and finite flash storage, and so on

                  Not to mention other revolutionary modernizations, such as 6GB of new graphics, cutting-edge UX nonsense, and a thinner case with a smaller battery.

                  I'd rather have the compatibility, thank you. I'm sick of living in a world where things more than a few years are forced to die because reasons.

            • That said, 64-bit does have some quite significant advantages for iOS, so I don't imagine Apple wanting to keep the 32-bit code around in the OS for longer than they have to.

              Microsoft ran the same hyped up 64-bit campaign when switching from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows.

              64-bit basically gets you three things.

              • A flat memory space above 4 GB of RAM. This is convenient (especially if a single program actually needs to store more than 4GB of data), but not necessary. 8-bit could only address 256 bytes of me
              • You are really such an expert on 64 bit arm architecture and iOS architecture aren't you? Have you even looked up any of the discussions that happened when Apple first delivered a 64bit CPU on a phone back in the iPhone 5S days, when none of the other manufacturers even had a solid roadmap? And why do you think things that are true in the wintel x86 world applies to iOS on ARM?

              • The only programs which benefit from 64-bit are ones which need more than 4GB of RAM (no iOS device yet has more than 4GB of RAM), ones which need double floats or long ints (mostly scientific applications large accounting databases and spreadsheets - stuff you wouldn't want running on an iOS device),

                That's not true. There are many advantages to using a 64 bit processor [androidpit.com] including cryptography. One of the main reasons is ARM itself will stop developing architectures for 32 bit processors. While you could buy and use 32 bit ARM legacy chips in the future, it is unlikely that ARM will continue to develop them further.

                As practically no iOS program can actually use 64-bit to its advantage on their current hardware, right now it's mostly marketing hype to get people with older hardware to feel bad and upgrade (even though the upgrade provides no advantage).

                How do you know this?

                Long-term, Apple is being proactive about trying to avoid falling into the trap Office fell into. A lot of the extensions written for Office are 32-bit, so Microsoft still recommends installing 32-bit Office instead of 64-bit Office a decade after we transitioned to 64-bit Windows.

                The problem for Office isn't just that legacy was 32 bit. The problem is that Office hasn't advanced too many features that most people feel are worth paying for a new ver

                • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

                  While you could buy and use 32 bit ARM legacy chips in the future, it is unlikely that ARM will continue to develop them further.

                  True, 32-bit ARMs have stopped at armv7.

                  However, ARM will still have 32-bit cores based on it for a simple reason - ARM is used in a variety of locations. In fact, ARM has 3 separate families of processors. You have the A series ("application", or what most users see) which are the powerful processor line. You also have the M series ("microcontroller") which is a 32-bit small core

                  • Again while 32-bit ARM will still be used for all sorts of applications in the future, I don't see them being used for smart phones any longer. Dumb phones maybe. Thus app developers will need to move to 64 bit now.
                  • True, 32-bit ARMs have stopped at armv7.

                    Not true. ARMv8 contains both AArch32 and AArch64. AArch32 ARMv8 is not the same as ARMv7, it adds several new instructions. M and R profile ARMv8 chips are all AArch32.

              • That's it. The vast majority of programs run exactly the same speed in 32-bit as they do in 64-bit, except they take up a bit more memory

                That's not it at all. First, on a 64-bit system ASLR has a lot more bits to play with. In a 32-bit system, you're lucky to get 12 bits of entropy (Android gets 8 bits on 32-bit systems, which is one of the reasons StageFright was so bad: 256 probes took well under a second from JavaScript and pretty much guaranteed breaking ASLR). On a 64-bit system you can easily make the search space large enough to be infeasible to probe without the OS noticing something odd is going on.

                When running Objective-C cod

          • No, it isn't. Have you heard of a "fat binary" that can contain both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the app? Does that concept not exist in "your world", as you put it?

            it's only been a thing for like 10+ years now in the rest of "our world." Such a package would "support 64-bit" while not dropping 32-bit.

        • by hattig ( 47930 )

          An old (as updated apps have mandated a 64-bit binary alongside the 32-bit one for a while now) 32-bit app would still work if the OS supported 32-bit apps.

          Therefore, logically, support for 32-bit-only apps is going. This may be an iOS 11 thing, or it may be an Apple A11 thing (remove AArch32 support in hardware).

          It's likely an OS thing - maintaining two sets of OS APIs must have quite some overhead, when there are so many.

      • "Well, did you see the ComputerWorld artilce copied in TFS? Because it says Apple did say that."

        The warning is in an iOS beta, not the current release version.

  • by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @09:50AM (#53780463)

    your old phone will still work and even if you reset it you can download old versions of apps from the app store

    you can stop hysterically crying now

    • But if your apps are revealed to have a security flaw, those flaws will not get fixed for you. If the backend server supporting your app requires an upgrade that makes the old version incompatible, you lose access to that app's functionality. Unless you migrate to new hardware, your software will be forced into early obsolescence.

      • so? same with everything

        nice thing about IOS is that apps run in their sandbox so that security issues most likely won't affect the whole system

      • by Karlt1 ( 231423 )

        But if your apps are revealed to have a security flaw, those flaws will not get fixed for you. If the backend server supporting your app requires an upgrade that makes the old version incompatible, you lose access to that app's functionality. Unless you migrate to new hardware, your software will be forced into early obsolescence.

        In the real (not hypothetical) world, when I unpacked late last year, I found my old 1st generation iPad that stopped being officially supported with OS updates in 2012. I reset

      • How is that any different from any other software publisher on any other platform, ever?

        Example: Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, which cuts off minimum support for otherwise perfectly working hardware. App developer X targets new version of Windows because it has a new spiffy API that allows them to cut out huge chunks of ass-pain code, causing their minimum OS requirement to be the new version of windows. Customer Y who has a PC that won't run the new version of Windows is stuck with old ve

      • AFAIK, all Apple devices introduced in 2013 and later have been 64-bit. I don't think you can reasonably call mobile devices older than that "early obsoleted".

        In before "I still use my Amiga and a Palm IIIxe, and these modern kids with their wasteful ways, upgrading every decade argh warble". That's nice, Grandpa. But in the real world, people upgrade their mobile devices at least every 4 years. That might not be as true now as we're approaching "good enough" in a lot of ways, but I sure as hell wouldn't wa

        • saddled with an iphone 5?, lol a couple years ago iphone 4S still was popular.

          It's all just Game Boys with a touch screen and a modem anyway. What are people doing with them, running Crysis?

    • Alternative facts!

      I prefer to be outraged!

    • It doesn't matter if that you can download old apps from the App store. The restriction is being enforced by the operating system. If you have iOS 10.3 installed on your device it will not run 32-bit apps, as the article states.
      Also not many people realise that this has happened before. iOS 9 broke old versions of apps by inforcing requirement of root viewcontroller, which hadn't been inforced before.

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      Wrong. I've already checked and 32-bit versions of Camfrog no longer exist for my fiance's old iPhone. So once that phone gets wiped, that's fucking it.

      • by Karlt1 ( 231423 )

        And I just redownloaded DeadSpace that I bought years ago and was pulled from the app store over a year ago for new purchases.....

    • That's not how it works. I had the first or second generation of iPod touch and had some neat apps on it. Unfortunately, that thing could only upgrade upto iOS 4.3, so after a while, there were no apps in the app store that would work w/ that version. Best one can do is back it up on iTunes, which I did.

  • Even more reason to toss your Iphone 5 in the trash and get an Iphone X.
  • This just means your old garbage closed source app from way back will die.
    All the open source stuff can easily be fixed if it's still only 32 bit.

  • I'm a bit confused about this "stopping" support for 32-bit devices, because as of iOS 10, all non-retina devices are already unsupported, and I didn't think there was a single 32-bit retina iOS device anyway.

    What we're looking at here is Apple slowly phasing out the last remnants of sales to old devices. It has been impossible for over a year to release new software targeted at people with old devices through the App Store, and it is about to become impossible to sell them new copies of software that was

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by angryargus ( 559948 )

      I didn't think there was a single 32-bit retina iOS device anyway.

      The iPhone 5 is a 32-bit retina device.

    • No. They're stopping support of running 32-bit apps on 64-bit devices.

    • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

      It's more about users with modern devices that are still using 32-bit apps that haven't been updated in ages. Those apps may not even support retina displays.

      In terms of 32-bit retina devices, the iPhone 4 was the first retina iPhone, while the iPhone 5S was the first 64-bit iPhone. Ditto for the iPad, there were a bunch of retina 32-bit devices.

      Apple has tended to offer software support for their older devices for years longer than Google/Microsoft/RIM/etc have. While you could definitely argue that they'r

      • It's more about users with modern devices that are still using 32-bit apps that haven't been updated in ages.

        Yes, I'm thinking the summary writer may have misunderstood.

        Apple has tended to offer software support for their older devices for years longer than Google/Microsoft/RIM/etc have. While you could definitely argue that they're still not doing enough in that regard, they're already doing far more than any of the other smartphone manufacturers are.

        Accepted. However, the difference is that when Google walks away from support, you can still produce and procure new software for the device, if there's demand. When Apple walks away, you're left locked in an empty garden.

    • What we're looking at here is Apple slowly phasing out the last remnants of sales to old devices. It has been impossible for over a year to release new software targeted at people with old devices through the App Store, and it is about to become impossible to sell them new copies of software that was previously released.

      This is what gets me about the Apple model (I'm an iPad Mini user -- non-retina) -- the walled garden does an awful lot to preserve the security of the device, but they then brick us old

  • What's really happened here is that Apple has killed all old classic games and apps.
    A similiar thing happened when Microsoft released Windows 7. A lot of old games (like the origonal Xcom) didn't work on the new OS. However, because Windows is more or less open system, the comunity was able to get them working using DosBox.
    But iOS unfortunately is a closed system. All those classic games are dead forever.

    • Nope, you will still be able to download them and play them on iOS 10 and previous. Apple has not said they'd be removed from the store.

      And developers have this thing called Xcode, if they click the "compile" button it spits out a 64 bit version of their classic games they can put on the store.

      And windows isn't an open system. it's bloatware because it supports terribly dated old apps that require hacks to run. IT's so bloated the first Surface couldn't offer 16 gigs as entry level system because the OS req

      • > play them on iOS 10 and previous
        You're being a bit disengenuous. If you buy a new device it comes with the latest iOS with no option to downgrade. Also iOS warns you every day that you have to upgrade. Plus the fact that other apps only support the latest version. Not upgrading is not really an option.

  • One of my main apps has been abandoned by the developer, mostly because they now sell it as a yearly subscription. They will never update my pre-subscription full functionality app. Am I supposed to delete that? Why should I when I purchased a fully functional app in good faith?

    • Apple has always and relentlessly enforced their right to not only remove your access to "Apps" but to delete them from your phone remotely.

    • The real tragedy in TFA for owners of current devices ("Your ability to run that 32-bit app is coming to an end.") would be that you could no longer run the last good version (if it's 32-bit) of apps that have gotten worse, e.g., AppBox Pro 1.8.4, Facebook 6.9.1, Foursquare 7.0.7, GoodReader 3.21.7, iStanford 5.9.1, Pulse News 2.9.4.

  • What is the conceivable benefit to having apps that can address 2TB of ram? Do any apps use more then a gigabyte that aren't leaking XML all over the place?

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

Working...