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Apple wants all iOS apps to use 64-bit code starting in February

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 20, 2014
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Apple may have only introduced 64-bit computing to iPhones and iPads a little over a year ago, but it's already preparing for the day when legacy 32-bit code is gone for good. The Cupertino crew is now telling developers that their iOS apps must include 64-bit support from February 1st onward. While the company won't kick out existing titles, both new apps and updated releases will have to make the switch. Theoretically, this is easy -- developers just have to build apps using the most recent tools and standard settings.

The switch could have a meaningful impact on the apps you use. At the least, it should reduce the need for iOS to juggle both 32- and 64-bit code. That's good for performance, whether or not there are meaningful upgrades to the apps themselves. The move may also spur more developers to fine-tune their apps for the A7 and A8 chips in recent iOS gear -- even if they don't need to use higher-precision 64-bit math, that could still lead to faster games, media players and other demanding titles. It'll likely take much longer for Apple to drop 32-bit support altogether, but the ball is clearly rolling on that transition.

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