Technology

Apple To Mac Users: We Will End Support For 32-bit Apps

Apple, Mac users, 32-bit apps
Free-Photos / Pixabay

Apple is now warning Mac users that are using 32-bit apps. The warning suggests that the future version of the macOS won’t support 32-bit apps, according to Ars Technica.

Apple’s warnings for the Mac users will pop-up once a user opens a 32-bit app on the macOS High Sierra 10.13.4. The warning message read “This app needs to be updated by its developer to improve compatibility.”

Apple’s warning message also includes a link that takes the Mac users to the Apple support page for further information. The support page explains why Apple wants all Mac software to be 64-bit. Further, it also includes a previous warning from Apple to the developers that High Sierra will be the last version to use 32-bit apps.

“At our Worldwide Developers Conference in 2017, Apple informed developers that macOS High Sierra would be the last version of macOS to run 32-bit apps without compromise,” says the support page.

Further, the support page also explains to the users the advantages of using the 64-bit apps. According to Apple, its latest Macs are powered by 64-bit processors, and this allows 64-bit apps to access more memory and give faster system performance. Also, latest technologies such as Metal graphics acceleration support only the 64-bit apps.

“To ensure that the apps you purchase are as advanced as the Mac you run them on, all future Mac software will eventually be required to be 64-bit,” the support page says. The document also addresses concerns related to potential loss of data.

Apple is also allowing users to check for the 64-bit compatibility. For this, one needs to go to the Apple menu and select This Mac, and then click the System Report button. Then scroll down to Software and select Applications. “When you select an individual application, you will see a field titled ”64-bit (Intel).” “Yes” indicates 64-bit; “No” indicates 32-bit,” the page reads.

For now, it can be assumed that the 32-bit apps will run for the Mac users. The company has already informed developers that the 32-bit apps would run on High Sierra’s successor, which will be released at WWDC in June. However, it is believed that the 32-bit apps won’t work as well as they use to before.

For now, the iPhone maker is just giving out warnings, and it has given no specific dates when the OS will totally stop supporting the 32-bit apps. So, until Apple shares more details, possibly at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, it can be assumed that the 32-bit apps will work until then. Also, even Apple hasn’t moved all its apps to 64-bit. A few of Apple’s software such as the DVD Player v5.8 and QuickTime Player 7 are still on 32-bit, according to MacStrategy.

Nevertheless, one thing is sure, that Apple is serious about phasing out the 32-bit apps soon. The tech giant has been transitioning to the 64-bit hardware and software since last decade or so. The company introduced Power Mac G5, the PC with 64-bit PowerPC processors, about 15 years back. Further, the company no longer accepts 32-bit apps into the Mac App Store. Also, the company is already through the same transition to 64-bit in the iOS.

Apple followed a similar transition process for the iOS as well, giving alert pop-ups on 32-bit iOS apps with iOS 10.3. The A7 chip, which powered the 2013 iPhone 5S, was the first 64-bit mobile processor. For the next four years after the A7 chip, the company encouraged developers to move to 64-bit. Thereafter, the company made 64-bit mandatory with the iOS 11.

Apple iOS users who still have 32-bit apps, get a pop-up when they tap that app’s icon. The pop-up says that the app needs to be updated. Further, a user also gets the option to delete it or keep it, even though the app can’t be used, notes CNET. Though the company hasn’t been equally aggressive with the Mac users yet, given the warnings have already started it, won’t be long before 32-bit takes its last breath on the Mac’s as well.

Making the shift on the desktop is much more cumbersome than on the mobile devices for two reasons, according to TechCrunch. First, the Apple desktop OS has been around longer than the iOS. Second, desktop apps are downloaded from several other sources apart from the MacOS App Store.