Users of 32-bit applications on the MacOS platform could be left high and dry after Apple warned that support would be disabled in a forthcoming update.
It comes after Apple stopped accepting new 32-bit apps in the Mac Store from January. Last summer, the company was users that 32-bit apps would be disabled in a post-High Sierra update.
And now, pop-up warnings are appearing on users' Macs in the latest High Sierra update whenever they launch a 32-bit app, warning them that they will soon cease working.
The support page explains: "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."
High Sierra continues to support 32-bit apps, but future updates are likely to either block them or change the way they work to be less powerful, to encourage upgrading. This may take the form of a "compatibility mode" which will be enough to send shivers down the spine of anyone who used Windows Vista.
Once this transition is completed, MacOS will join iOS which is already pure 64-bit. At present, Apple has confirmed that there is no set date for the big switch, and this warning is just that, an early warning.
For developers, the lure to update their apps to 64-bit is obvious - if Apple stops letting them run, then that's an income stream gone, right there.
By nagging users well in advance, Apple will presumably be hoping that developers will be bombarded with support tickets from users, forcing them to take action sooner rather than later.
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