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23rd of April 2018

Gadgets



Mac Owners Will Start Seeing 32-Bit App Warnings Today

Macbook Pro running macOS

Unlike Apple's iOS devices, apps used on a Mac are not exclusively downloaded from an app store controlled by Apple. That's how it should be, but it also means Apple needs to educate users about some of the apps they use no longer working if they are 32-bit.

As TechCrunch reports, from today anyone using 32-bit apps on macOS will start seeing pop-up alerts. The alert will only appear once per app and informs the user this app "is not optimized for your Mac." That's a nice way of saying the app is simply going to stop working at some point in the near future. When that happens is unknown, but clearly Apple is preparing to transition to 64-bit only sooner rather than later.

The alert also explains that "This app needs to be updated by its developer to improve compatibility." Such a warning is surely going to get users who are worried about losing access to an app contacting the developer. Apple is clearly hoping this will put pressure on developers to embrace 64-bit rather than Apple having lots of angry users to deal with when the 64-bit transition happens.

By taking this approach, Apple isn't leaving it to users to figure out which apps are affected by the transition. The apps they use regularly will pop-up the alert. But you still need to open the app to trigger the alert. Any old apps you don't open regularly may get forgotten about and simply stop working in future.

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