March 27, 2019

Apple MacOS pop-ups warn that forthcoming updates could disable 32-bit apps

12 April 2018, 09:49 | Dale Webster

PDFpen 10 for the Mac

PDFpen 10 and PDFpen Pro 10 for the Mac

With the recent release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, the first time users launch an app that does not support 64-bit they will see an alert that the app is not optimized for their Mac.

Apple's transition from 32-bit to 64-bit technology on the Mac has been in the works for a while but so far users haven't really been affected.

The 32- to 64-bit switch is something that's already happened with iOS, and macOS users can hardly say there has been no warning. Furthermore, macOS is capable of running advanced 64-bit programs that have access to much more memory compared to 32-bit apps, and can potentially enable faster system performance.

Apple began the transition to 64-bit hardware and software technology for Mac over a decade ago and is working with developers to transition their apps to 64-bit. At the same time, it'll be easier for Apple to maintain the apps.

From the Apple menu, choose About This Mac, then click the System Report button.

Apple iOS users who still have 32-bit apps, get a pop-up when they tap that app's icon. Clicking on the former will load a support document that details the long process of shifting from 32-bit to 64-bit computing.

Users can check which apps are 32-bit or 64-bit by going to About this Mac and pressing System Report, scrolling down to Software and then selecting Applications. When you select an individual application, you will see a field titled "64-bit (Intel)". "Using 32-bit software has no adverse effects on your data or your computer".

While Apple hasn't detailed exactly what "without compromise" means, it's my understanding that 32-bit apps will run on the successor to High Sierra due this fall... just with some sort of undefined compromise.

If you have a 32-bit app, check with the developer to see if an update is available.

Apple has made clear for years now that its future fits squarely in the 64-bit realm. It's also worth noting that 32-bit apps will continue to work in at least the next macOS version the company will unveil this year, macOS 10.14. The bar on 32-bit iOS apps was one of the key reasons the number of iOS apps in the App Store fell previous year. "The developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility." .

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