10:43 21st Oct, 2014
Apple Wants All New iOS Apps To Have 64-Bit Support Starting February
The move should result in pretty meaningful performance upgrades for users of newer iOS devices
Apple made the jump to 64-bit mobile hardware with the iPhone 5s, but it'll take a few years before the performance and efficiency benefits of doing so are fully felt. The use of legacy 32-bit code to write software is to blame, but the company's latest move aims to fast forward its death.
The Curpertino giant has just instructed all developers that the apps they build for iOS must include 64-bit support starting February 1, 2015. Apple will not remove existing titles from the App Store, but any new app or update will have to make the switch.
Apple's move isn't particularly harsh on developers, as it simply requires them to build apps using the latest tools and standard settings. Further, the switch could have an adverse impacts on the performance of all iOS devices using 64-bit chips (A7, A8 and A8X), even without being fully optimized for 64-bit devices.
Running 32-bit apps on a 64-bit device requires loading of additional resources into the system memory, that inevitably slows it down. It's unlikely that Apple will drop 32-bit support anytime soon, especially given the number of people still using devices older than the iPhone 5s.
Google too is following in Apple's footsteps, and recently released the 64-bit Android Lollipop emulator that will help developers build apps using 64-bit code. However, in the case of Android, the shift will be a lot slower as the hardware is infinitely more fragmented than Apple's.
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