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Operating Systems Desktops (Apple) OS X Software Apple Technology

Apple To Phase Out 32-Bit Mac Apps Starting In January 2018 (macrumors.com) 249

Apple will be phasing out 32-bit apps 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." MacRumors reports: 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.
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Apple To Phase Out 32-Bit Mac Apps Starting In January 2018

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  • and write some code

    Evil Apple making me type

    Die in a Fire

  • They're removing support - phasing would require them to gradually remove it in steps.
  • A 64-bit operating system, an archetype that is known widely by developers and IT to support both 32 and 64-bit, is now going to purposely block 32-bit when we all know it will work? You know what this really is right? I have tried to tell both Linux and Window$ communities either here or on Reddit a while back about how 64-bit was nothing more than a tactic to get people to buy new hardware. The dropping of 32-bit for Linux is what actually made me angry. Now that everyone has an iPhone, maybe people will
    • The dropping of 32-bit for Linux is what actually made me angry.

      What? When do you imagine that happened? Linux still has fine 32 bit support. What it doesn't do any more IIRC is support very old 32 bit processors. This is of no concern to anyone who isn't using embedded hardware, and those people can use the older fork.

      I can still run 32 bit binaries on my 64 bit Ubuntu system.

      • I meant on the operating system level. Most Linux distros have decided to not build 64-bit versions anymore. Most repositories have also been dropping their 32-bit packages, save a few such as the kernel security updates. Even the custom repositories made by SuseStudio users (custom OpenSUSE-based distro builder) with 32-bit packages are falling off the map, including 42.1. And when you talk to developers, whether it is from Github, Reddit, Twitter, etc., all of them have told me that no one is volunteering
        • Well, it's a good thing I don't actually care. The only x86-32 machines I have left are an eee 701 (guess when the last time I used that was) and an acer aspire D250 with the old atom (don't use that either). I do have some 32 bit ARM in my network, though :p

      • The dropping of 32-bit for Linux is what actually made me angry.

        What? When do you imagine that happened?

        A year ago, Canonical announced plans to drop 32-bit Ubuntu [itsfoss.com]. 18.04 will ship no 32-bit kernel, and 18.10 will ship no 32-bit system libraries.

        I can still run 32 bit binaries on my 64 bit Ubuntu system.

        This is true in 18.04 and earlier, but in 18.10 and later, you will have to run 32-bit Linux in a virtual machine on 64-bit Linux. Running two kernels and a VMM requires more RAM than multiarch, which means more thrashing swap on machines with swap or more OOM kills on machines without swap. And many devices running 64-bit GNU/Linux still max out at 2 GB, unable to re

        • So is Valve going to finally kick out a 64 bit Steam? Or am I going to finally stop using Ubuntu?

        • mkdir firefox
          cd firefox
          sudo apt-get source firefox
          sudo apt-get build-dep firefox
          linux32 dpkg-buildpackage -ai386 -rfakeroot -uc -b

          And when that stops working, you edit the makefile to add -m32 to the CFLAGS and LDFLAGS and replace the last line above with:
          make firefox
          sudo make firefix install

          If you really need it, you already know how to do it.
          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            If there's no 32-bit libc, how will your compiled program link and run?

            • sudo apt-get build-dep firefox

              That fetches the build dependencies for Firefox, which will include the libc source. You're literally compiling your own 32-bit libc in that case and yes, gcc and clang will both happily compile 64-bit assembly to a 32-bit binary, emulating 64-bit instructions as they go.

              It's the same for any other package, mind you.

              Come on, man, I thought you knew this stuff.
    • I have tried to tell both Linux and Window$ communities either here or on Reddit a while back about how 64-bit was nothing more than a tactic to get people to buy new hardware.

      I think most people have bought new hardware at least once or twice wince 64-bit CPUs came out, and I don't think it's because their OS of choice stopped supporting their 32-bit CPU. Most people would have already been through an upgrade cycle or two before anybody began requiring a 64-bit CPU.

      The dropping of 32-bit for Linux is what actually made me angry.

      Huh... I can still get 32-bit binaries for everything on all of my systems.

      Please tell me this post is a joke and I just missed it.

      • Right now you can get 32-bit binaries, but I was referring to the Linux distros themselves no longer making 32-bit builds. You probably wont see anymore of them unless in an archive like ibiblio in a year from now. Some websites at the end of this year may still have links to 32-bit builds, but it'll be "Classic" versions until they decide to remove them completely when they update their website. I'm sure Github will still have a few here and there, though I don't know if anyone still bothers to code for fa
        • Right now you can get 32-bit binaries, but I was referring to the Linux distros themselves no longer making 32-bit builds.

          And, of course, you can't compile them yourself because the source isn't available.

          I don't know if anyone still bothers to code for fat or universal binaries anymore.

          You're right, you don't know, so let me explain.

          Unless you're writing assembly, you don't write 32- or 64-bit code; and even then, a smart compiler can replace 64-bit assembly instructions with 32-bit routines that emulate them in order to provide a 32-bit binary from assembly code that uses 64-bit instructions. I'm fairly certain GCC can do this natively.

          You write code, then compile it as either a 32- or 64-bit (or fat/u

        • by epine ( 68316 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @02:28PM (#54570027)

          AMD64 was introduced back in 2000.

          You know, long before Moore's law became bow-legged from the heavy burden of asterisks. (Yes, like always before, we do indeed have more transistors, but just try to use them all at the same time and see what happens ...)

          So that's seventeen years ago. Subtract another seventeen years, and we're back to 1983.

          Back in 2000, your karmic twin would have been moaning about the loss of 8-bit software compatibility.

          Subtract another seventeen years, and we're back to 1965.

          Back in 1983, your karmic triplet would have been moaning about the loss of slide rules.

          Lament for the Slide Rule [ieee.org] — August 1985

          Unfortunately, that's paywalled, so we're stuck with this belated cuckoo:

          When Slide Rules Ruled [uvm.edu] — Cliff Stoll (2006)

          Check out this giant pull-quote:

          The slide rule helped to design the very machines that would render it obsolete.

          Nice. That saves me from craning my neck to look through my window for plummeting petunias. You just never know anything with absolute certainty.

    • A 64-bit operating system, an archetype that is known widely by developers and IT to support both 32 and 64-bit, is now going to purposely block 32-bit when we all know it will work?

      Not true. A 64-bit operating system running 32-bit binaries requires a compat version of the system call layer that handles the calling convention and pointer size differences (or some equivalent userspace shims). This is fairly easy to support for most system calls, but is impossible to automate for arbitrary ioctls and so they all end up needing special handling.

      I have tried to tell both Linux and Window$ communities either here or on Reddit a while back about how 64-bit was nothing more than a tactic to get people to buy new hardware

      And apparently you didn't listen to any of the answers. Here are some of the advantages that 64-bit binaries have on x86, for example:

      • Guaran
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @10:17AM (#54567933)

    The ideal is an operating system that runs every app ever created for any notable platform. For security reasons, the opposite should be default, with only the most recent runtime installed and running. But convenient one step process should be provided to install other runtimes. There is a galore of open source emulation/virtualization solutions and sandboxing to mitigate security risks, so maintenance overhead is insignificant for the likes of Apple and Microsoft. Why would anyone not want an option to run apps they paid for?

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @10:35AM (#54568055)
    Apple already phased out 32-bit by making the programming tools 64-bit only on the developer side in 2014. When developers stopped supporting 32-bit apps with updates, I was forced to abandon my legendary black MacBook with a 32-bit processor. Linux Mint went on the MacBook and I switched to an inexpensive Dell laptop. The only 32-bit apps in the Mac store are by developers who are going the extra mile to support the older versions of Mac OS X.
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      The only 32-bit apps in the Mac store are by developers who are going the extra mile to support the older versions of Mac OS X.

      That and out-of-Store apps that have been unmaintained since Xcode went 64-bit in 2014.

  • What apple should do is automatically cross recompile the old apps to work on the new hardware. There are a lot of old apps that are excellent but will never get updated, a great many for small business, games and a huge inventory of educational applications. Nobody else will bother to write a replacement but cause the original creator was inspired and it is a small market in many cases. Yet, they are still great apps. Apple is doing this again on both iOS and MacOS. This same problem has happened before wh

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      What apple should do is automatically cross recompile the old apps to work on the new hardware.

      Apple used to do that, but maintaining the Rosetta dynarec was too much of a cost.

      They could easily put forth the effort to bring the old apps, all the way back to the Lisa, onto the modern operating systems with recompiling.

      Can you prove that it would produce a greater return on investment for Apple Inc. shareholders than not doing so?

      they must continue to offer legacy support for a minimum of 50 years

      Even car companies aren't held to that standard.

  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @11:45AM (#54568599)

    32-bit ios actually stands to be the first "lost platform" in computing history. EVER!

    Hyperbole? Hear me out:

    Unlike almost every other platform, there's no reliable and good way to run ios software (or ios itself) outside of the hardware. The only things that look like emulators are open source, and you can't even choose to install older versions of the OS on hardware past a cut-off date. Apple has fully DRMed their platform, fully closed it off. But up until now, if you have played by their rules, there's always been a way to run any given application: the expectation that your app can't be emulated well on Linux or whatever isn't something universal, so the computing consumer world has been pretty accepting of this.

    This fully closed and cryptographically sealed system is something reasonably new in computing, and Apple's smashing success with it has encouraged others to duplicate it to some lesser degree- Windows 10S tries to take their model and offer a greater degree of freedom with an opt-out for cash (instead of no opt-out), Android has taken parts of their system, etc. But so far, everything has eventually (once it is no longer a primary economic driver) been emulated, been archived, been available for the future. Perhaps the loss of 32-bit ARM code compiled for ios is no great eternal loss to the world, but the precedent is now set for the expiry of code in a way that has never been done before.

    • It's not really new. A bunch of mainframe architectures were similar - proprietary, no compatibility provided when the company went out of business. The ones that people actually cared about grew emulators. I think you can run older versions of iOS in a modified QEMU (and Apple does internally, though they don't share their modified QEMU). Newer versions are probably harder, because I think Apple encrypts the firmware download with a per-device key, so you can't run someone else's firmware image on your
    • Unlike almost every other platform, there's no reliable and good way to run ios software (or ios itself) outside of the hardware.

      After some thought, I do not agree - because you can always buy newer devices to run the same software, all app data is migrated. It's not outside the platform but it's not like you cannot move forward.

      you can't even choose to install older versions of the OS on hardware past a cut-off date.

      You can if you jailbreak it which you absolutely can for any 32-bit IOS device.

      But why doe

  • This is an interesting one - their Pro base has a lot of music writers in it, and a lot of virtual instrements including major ones like Sylenth etc. are still 32bit only. Now previously there was a wrapper available that added a 64->32bit compatibility layer, but if I can't launch my 32 bit plugin at in the first place then such a wrapper is kind of pointless.

    Could lose a lot of music production-related stuff this way.
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Then purchase the 64-bit version of Sylenth 18 months from now once Lennar Digital finishes it. I thought Mac users were used to re-buying software periodically after architecture transitions, that is, those from 68K-24 [lowendmac.com] to 68K-32 to PowerPC to PowerPC (OS X) to x86 to x86-64.

  • "Can you prove that it would produce a greater return on investment for Apple Inc. shareholders than not doing so?"

    That isn't necessary. Apple does a lot of things that aren't proven to produce a return for shareholders. That is part of what makes Apple great. Basic research.

    But you're missing the point. Jobs promised users they would continue to have access to their digital lives into the future. To do that requires legacy support.

    It is entirely possible you're to young to remember.

    "Even car companies aren

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