The 64-Bit App Future

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I have mentioned the 32/64-Bit issues in several previous articles here. Taking my own advice I decided to do some testing of my Apps for 32-Bit status. I test and use bunches of Applications on my iMac, but only a few of them are considered essential to my daily workflow. Here are some results of my testing and maybe a plan of attack for all of you.

32-Bit Testing

So, why is Apple pushing the 64-Bit architecture thing for the macOS and all Apps? Here is Apple’s explanation from their website:

State-of-the-art technology is what makes a Mac a Mac. All modern Macs include powerful 64-bit processors, and macOS runs advanced 64-bit apps, which can access dramatically more memory and enable faster system performance. The technologies that define today’s Mac experience—such as Metal graphics acceleration—work only with 64-bit apps. To ensure that the apps you purchase are as advanced as the Mac you run them on, all future Mac software will eventually be required to be 64-bit.

Computer technology moves ahead, for better or for worse. It does not stand still. Although some of your and my favorite software will be stranded in 32-Bit mode, this progress is for the best for the platform long term.

Seeing the handwriting on the wall I proceeded to do the 64-Bit test for my applications. The first thing I did was to test any App that might be in my main, daily workflow. That is the bottom line for any of us. Apps that we use to get stuff done need to work. Thankfully, all my main workflow Apps are 64-Bit with no problems. Then, I decided to test several third party Apps that are somewhat obscure and may not be supported very well. Keep in mind, I am running macOS 10.13.4, the latest version of the macOS.

I started with 321Soft USB Flash Recovery for Mac. This is a pretty decent Flash Drive recovery program. When I booted it up I got this warning message:

Optimization Warning

Apple says on their website to contact the Developer of the App to ask about a 64-Bit version. I will not be doing that with this  software package because I have other 64-Bit software that can perform this function.

Next, I tested Aiseesoft Mac Video Converter Ultimate. This is a decent App as well. Although, I would not say it really is the “Ultimate” in video conversion, it foes a fairly nice job. Here is the message I received when I booted it up:

Optimized Message

This third party App has not been 64-Bit optimized either. Whether the Developer will bring it up to speed is unknown. As in the case with the previous App, I have other applications on my machine for video conversion. I will not be contacting the Developer, but if you needed to do so just go to the App website and fill out their contact form.

Let me close with something from Apple’s 64-Bit Optimization web page”

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 our Worldwide Developers Conference in 2017, Apple informed developers that macOS High Sierra would be the last version of macOS to run 32-bit apps without compromise. 

This whole 64-Bit conundrum should not be taking us by surprise. Apple has been pursuing this requirement for at least the last ten years. Please note in the paragraph above, High Sierra is the last OS to run 32-Bit Apps.

There are ways to mitigate the 64-Bit requirement blues. First, you can find another, more modern App that performs the same function as the one that is being left behind. There is usually something that has been created that can substitute for good old reliable. Second, if you cannot find a newer App then maybe you could run the old one in a virtual environment like Parallels running an older macOS. That is not a great solution, but if it is absolutely crucial to your workflow it may be an alternative. Lastly, some people keep older Macs around just for running older “obsolete” software. That may be stretching it a bit, but it is doable.

Conclusion

I know there will be pain associated with this transition similar to all of Apple’s transitions over the years. But, for security reasons and to keep up with advancing hardware I don’t see any way around it.

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