High Sierra will be last macOS release to fully support 32-bit apps

High Sierra will be last macOS release to fully support 32-bit apps

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macOS High Sierra
Bid goodbye to old apps.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s mission to eliminate 32-bit apps is no longer focused solely on iOS. The company told developers this week that its upcoming High Sierra update will be the last macOS release to support 32-bit titles “without compromise.”

Apple has been using 64-bit chips in iOS devices since the iPhone 5s, and in its notebooks and desktops for even longer. By taking advantage of the updated architecture, developers can deliver smoother software, and make use of more than 4GB of RAM.

But believe it or not, 32-bit software is still around, and Apple wants to change that.

“New apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit starting January 2018, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018,” the company says in an update on its Developer Center this week.

“If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS.”

Apple adds that High Sierra, launching this fall, will be the last version of macOS to support 32-bit apps “without compromise.” This suggests they will work on future versions of macOS, but there could be issues that impact performance and stability.

iOS 11, which also lands this fall, won’t support 32-bit apps at all. Apple has already enforced a 64-bit rule for new and updated App Store submissions, and those who are using old titles that haven’t been updated in a while will find they no longer install after updating.

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