Apple to Phase Out 32-Bit Mac Apps Starting in January 2018

Apple is already putting an end to 32-bit apps on iOS devices 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."

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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.

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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.

(Thanks, Cameron!)

Top Rated Comments

Plutonius Avatar
51 months ago
Do we get our money back for our old apps that don't run ?
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
51 months ago
Anyone else find it annoying how quickly Apple obsoletes older software on their platforms?

Even annoying-as-hell Windows can often run 20 year old binaries. TWO DECADES ago.

Right now the oldest binaries MacOS can run are from the PowerPC -> Intel switch era, circa 2006. Whatever macOS comes after High Sierra will probably obsolete 32 bit x86 binaries, which will pull the date even more forward.

They don't seem to care about preserving the functionality of legacy software. Some apps will never be updated because the developers no longer care about it, went out of business, etc... This software is lost to time. This is even MORE the case on iOS where you can't even GET the software anymore. At least on macOS you can keep archives of old apps around.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Victor Mortimer Avatar
51 months ago
Why?

Why would they go out of their way to break backwards compatibility AGAIN?

I'm still running a 10.6 VM so I can use some PowerPC apps that will never be upgraded.

I'm still running SheepShaver so I can use Classic apps that will never be upgraded.

Apple could have taken steps to avoid both of those problems.

And now they're going to deliberately break 32-bit apps? This is really inexcusable.

You want to know why I need more than 16GB RAM in a laptop? This sort of thing is a BIG part of why.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
busyscott Avatar
51 months ago
I'm digging the 64-bit only transition, I don't understand all the hate. If you don't like it, you're perfectly welcome to stay on the older OS, many of my production macs are one to two OS's behind because updates often break compatibility and it takes time for software to catch up.

I know guys who are still rocking Snow Leopard in recording studio's because they have hardware interfaces that aren't supported by the devs anymore. So what? Buy new hardware or don't update the OS.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrr Avatar
51 months ago
Sad. I use a number of great legacy apps that are no longer supported. This will kill them.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Victor Mortimer Avatar
51 months ago
I am curious, like what?
[doublepost=1496796453][/doublepost]
You must be new here? Apple has done this for decades. Part of reason Windows has had so much trouble is the complexity of decades of compatibility...
No. Apple has NOT done this for decades.

Do you have any idea how much work Apple put into making 68x00 binaries just work on PowerPC? And do you remember how incredibly seamless that transition was? Stuff JUST WORKED. You didn't even know it was a 68k binary running on your Mac in 1998.

The Mac OS 9 to 10 transition was a pain, but Classic worked beautifully until Apple killed it in 2007. That's right, over 20 years of backwards compatibility for some apps, all the way up until 10 years ago with 10.5.

So yeah, a decade of this is what we've had to endure.

Windows has so much trouble because they use a monolithic database known as the Registry to store a LOT of things that shouldn't be stored in the same database. It was a horrible mistake, a workaround for limitations of their previous versions, and they never saw fit to stop using it for new things. If M$ had decided to contain that mess before XP, they'd have solved a lot of problems, if they'd decided to contain it before 7, they'd still be better off. But no, it's still used in 10.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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