One of Apple’s more unexpected announcements at their iPhone event the other day was the support of 64-bit for their new processor. Together with the A7 support, iOS 7 was announced to be 64-bit optimised. As such, developers can now begin to submit 64-bit third party applications for the iPhone 5S.
The iPhone 5S is set to release this Friday 20th September and it ships with the new A7 CPU chip, together with the new iOS 7, both of which are optimised for 64-bit.
Apple issued a note to developers today inviting them to begin to submit their 64-bit optimised Apps for iOS 7, ready for release with the iPhone 5S.
Sources report that cross-compatibility and fragmentation for developers has already been considered by Apple:
“Currently, developers who wish to continue supporting iOS 6 will need to build their apps in 32-bit only. But Apple has promised that next month, changes will be made that will allow developers to support 32-bit on iOS 6 and both 32- and 64-bit on iOS 7 with a single binary.”
“Xcode can build your app with both 32-bit and 64-bit binaries included so it works across all devices running iOS 7,”
iPhone 5S 64-bit support
Apple released the iPhone 5S and thus the A7 chip as the first major 64-bit smartphone processor available on the market and says it is the first desktop-class chip with over a billion transistors. The A7 is twice as fast in raw processing power and graphics performance, and is said to be 40 times faster than the current chip found in the iPhone 5.
It is said that the move towards 64-bit support is to future proof Apple’s iOS 7 to a place that is inevitable the smartphone market will reach, whilst others speculate that Apple has something special planned that requires the additional support.
We’ll see what sort of difference 64-bit makes to the iPhone 5S performance when it is released on Friday.