According to Apple Insider, Apple posted a note in the News and Updates section of its developer website, reminding developers that as of February 1, all submitted apps must be built in the iOS 8 Software Development Kit and have 64-bit support. They posted a similar note in December, when it was clarified that existing apps have until June 1 to make sure their updates follow the same requirements.
Apple Insider reported in December that Apple’s requirements are fairly simple to follow.
“Apple has advised developers that they can enable 64-bit in their project by using the default Xcode build setting of ‘Standard architectures.’ This will build a single binary with both 32- and 64-bit code.”
Since Apple’s roll out of 64-bit in its A7 chips with the iPhone 5s, there’s been some debate as to the benefit that a consumer sees from 64-bit processing power. Qualcomm backed away from its comments quickly, but they initially stated that users who see the most benefit from 64-bit are “large, server-class applications running on devices with 4GB of memory or more.” Meanwhile, Apple has stalwartly declared that 64-bit architecture “almost always” results in apps running more smoothly. Apple has said that those improvements mean more data, processed faster.
“Among other architecture improvements, a 64-bit ARM processor includes twice as many integer and floating-point registers as earlier processors do. As a result, 64-bit apps can work with more data at once for improved performance.”
“Apps that extensively use 64-bit integer math or custom NEON operations see even larger performance gains. In a 64-bit process, pointers are 64 bits and some integer types, once 32 bits, are now 64 bits.”
Cult of Mac commented on their website that this update was a long time coming. After all, the A7 chipped with its 64-bit architecture debuted in October 2013, along with the iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display. The website also comments that the update assists with battery life.
“64-bit support allows for more powerful, battery-efficient performance on iOS devices, but only when running apps programmed to support it.”
For those who are using devices older than the iPhone 4s, these updates can result in frustration. iOS 8 hasn’t been, and won’t be, rolled back to those devices, according to App Advice, which means that older devices won’t be able to access the newest games and apps without updating to a newer device.
For developers who need the newest software development kit for iOS 8, it’s available through the Apple Developer Portal with Xcode 6.1.1.
[Image from 9 to 5 Mac]