Apple Reminds Developers About February 64-Bit Support Deadline for Newly Submitted iOS Apps

ios_8_iconApple today began sending out emails to developers, reminding them that as of February 1, 2015, all apps submitted to the App Store need to be built with the iOS 8 software development kit and include 64-bit support. Developers were first informed of the upcoming rules back in October, after the release of iOS 8 and the iPhone 6/6 Plus.

The email also states that as of June 1, 2015, all app updates submitted to the App Store will need to adhere to the same requirements, giving the company a way to make sure all current apps take advantage of 64-bit support and are iOS 8 compliant. The shift to across-the-board 64-bit support will offer improved app performance on 64-bit devices.
Dear Developer,
As we announced in October, beginning February 1, 2015 new iOS apps submitted to the App Store must include 64-bit support and be built with the iOS 8 SDK. Beginning June 1, 2015 app updates will also need to follow the same requirements. To enable 64-bit in your project, we recommend using the default Xcode build setting of "Standard architectures" to build a single binary with both 32-bit and 64-bit code.
Apple first began asking developers to submit 64-bit apps following the September 2013 release of the iPhone 5s, which introduced the 64-bit A7 processor. All of Appleā€™s newest devices, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 offer 64-bit processors, as does the iPad mini 2 and the original iPad Air.

At the current time, developers are still permitted to submit 32-bit apps along with universal binaries, but that option will expire when February rolls around.


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22 months ago
They should be required to support the iPhone 6/6 Plus screen size too!
Rating: 10 Votes
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22 months ago
You can still find apps that haven't been updated since 2010 or 2011. Apple needs to do a better job at pruning the App Store. That 1.3 million app figure is pretty pointless when 500,000 of them are crap anyway.
Rating: 6 Votes
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22 months ago
Good thing there's that additional RAM for 64 bit apps to take advantage of... just kidding.
Rating: 4 Votes
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22 months ago
Who wants to bet that iOS 9 will be for 64-bit iDevices only?
Rating: 4 Votes
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22 months ago

32-bit users automatically get a 64-bit copy of the code that is of no use to them

64-bit users automatically get a 32-bit copy of the code that is of no use to them

Apple needs to find a better solution. Force developers to submit two separate copies of apps.


From what I know, this is not really true at all.

Much of the space that apps take up is images, icons, and resources. Those are universal and the app bundle only contains one copy of those files regardless of 32/64 bit.
Rating: 4 Votes
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22 months ago

Yes, but there are clearly a multitude of apps no longer supported that have longs since lost their usefulness. Eventually an OS update will break even the good ones. Apple needs a way of, as you put it, flushing out those apps.


Why would they do that, though? They need to be able to say that you can access eleventy million apps because their OS is the best.
Rating: 4 Votes
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22 months ago
A lot of people seem to be overreacting.

Apple cuts off old versions of Xcode all the time. This move doesn't exclude any more devices than any other Xcode cut-offs in the past.

Requiring 64-bit binaries does not exclude 32-bit binaries. Both binaries are included. Most of an app's size is not from the binary, but from other resources such as graphics or audio. A 10.25 MB download might jump to 10.75 MB.

Devices this new requirement will help:
* iPhone 5S
* iPhone 6
* iPhone 6 Plus
* iPad Air
* iPad mini 2
* iPad Air 2
* iPad mini 3

Device this new requirement will harm:
* none


A 64-bit device running a 64-bit app may end up with more available memory for that app since it does not have to load 32-bit libraries in addition to 64-bit libraries. Understand? Compiling with 64-bit support can make an old app run better.


OS X applications already included 32/64-bit binaries. In fact, many applications had both the PowerPC/Intel binaries ("Universal" binaries). No one complained then.

Apple isn't the only company that does this. Microsoft .NET compiles apps with native 32/64-bit support as well.
Rating: 4 Votes
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22 months ago

You can still find apps that haven't been updated since 2010 or 2011. Apple needs to do a better job at pruning the App Store. That 1.3 million app figure is pretty pointless when 500,000 of them are crap anyway.

I wouldn't want them to remove them. I've got an old iOS device that still plays old games that crash/don't work right on iOS8. What I would like is some kind of process for developers to update their apps without requiring the developer fee, or whatever walls are currently in place (I don't know what these would be - I don't make iOS software!).
Rating: 2 Votes
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22 months ago

I can proudly say that the app I work on is ready. I had been pushing for this to the powers that be for a time when it was announced. Still not released, but no surprises come February.

And yes, I added support for iPhone 6/6+, although we don't have much @3x images at the moment. I'm no graphic artist...


Depends on the app.
Xcode 6 is a bigger headache than anything else. Apple loves to do undocumented changes and radically change how API work. This can break a lot of items.

For example they flipped how X,Y coordinates are reported. Same method call returns them flipped. You ask for the size of the screen it used to always be coordinates based in portrait so if you were doing landscape work you adjusted for that. Now it is reported based on the current ordination of the device. Breaks everything that relayed on that.

App my company makes Xcode 6 is looking at costing us a few weeks of dev time to redo a lot of stuff to make it complaint.

64 bit chances are it will be fine but really there are a lot of gotchas you never account for. You can only find by really doing deep test.
Translates in to thousands of dollars of time. Brings in Zero new money as it is just updating.

Short answer is if you are not doing anything crazy it is easy to upgrade. As soon as you start doing custom stuff a lot of problems and almost every app has some custom crazy work in it.
Rating: 2 Votes
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22 months ago

I want.
They won't abandon support for 2012's phone which is iPhone 5.


In my experience, never say never.


This would also include the 2013 iPhone 5c. No, one should "never say never", but this move would be very surprising.
Rating: 2 Votes
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