Mobile Development

Convert Your 32-bit App to 64-bit: The Cleaning Time in the App Store

One wise man once reflected, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself”. And seems like this thought specifically refers to the Apple’s announcement of the 32-bit app support cut off. This fateful summer Apple unveiled the long-awaited iOS 11, but not everything that comes with iOS 11 is good news. In the course of Apple’s World Developer Conference, the Company put an end to the era of 32-bit apps. It means that all new iOS apps and updates submitted to the App Store for iOS 11 must have 64-bit support.

What does this mean for the millions of applications in the App Store? What should App developers undertake to provide the smooth operation of their solutions? Let’s figure out the reasons and consequences iOS app developers will eventually face.

What is the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit app?

To get to the core of the matter, we should investigate what 32-bit and 64-bit means. This abbreviation actually refers to the type of central processor chip that a computer or mobile is using. Initially, every task computer or smartphone performs is made up of a series of calculations. From simple tapping on a screen to complex identifying of a high-quality image or video rotation, all these operations that require multiple calculations perform differently on various processors. Obviously, a 64-bit device does more things in less time and is more power efficient.

One more difference between 32-bit and 64-bit is the RAM (random-access memory). While the 32-bit processor is limited to maximum 4 GB RAM, 64-bit processor handles a maximum of 16 exabytes of addressable memory. That is four billion times more than 4 GB. In the final outcome, this memory increase provides better mobile operations and multitasking.

From the perspective of applications and their work, you do not see a significant improvement in the performance of the apps. However, the graphic design elements and processes that require a lot of operations on pixel, calculations, color data greatly benefit from the 64-bit processor.

The Essence of 64-bit App

64-bit apps went off to the iOS ecosystem with the launch of an A7 processor in the iPhone 5S in 2013. Apple initially introduced guidelines calling for all new iOS apps submitted for approval to support 64-bit processors by February 2015. In this way, Apple aimed to improve the performance of all iOS apps with the switch to the 64-bit processor.

As of June 2016, there were 2 million iOS apps downloaded 130 billion times. However, a lot of these applications have been built on the old versions of iOS and never updated. Thus, Apple intended to enhance the quality of App Store by removing apps that no longer function and are not supported any more.

One more benefit of the move to the 64-bit you’ll appreciate is that your smartphone is more power-efficient and does more operations using less battery. Also, due to the great emphasis on security, 64-bit systems provide much more protection to their users. The 64-bit processor enables strong encryption which the device can process without causing delays for the users and this keeps the information safer.

How to get through the app update to 64-bit: QA Team Recommends

In order to keep your business running, consider a sufficient support of your mobile application solution. In a case with Apple’s 32-bit support dropped and switch to 64-bit app architecture, Forte Group QA Team recommends to perform regression testing to keep your application running smoothly on any user’s device.
The regression testing helps you to detect the bugs and broken features that are caused by the update from 32-bit to 64-bit processor. You should run the entire regression test plan on:

  • all operating systems and
  • all devices your application support.

This will ensure the high-quality of the product and prevent it from the negative App Store review.
All in all, if you are on the way of updating your iOS 32-bit app to 64-bit, consider the collaboration with Forte Group QA Team to perform fast and effective regression testing of your mobile solution. Get in touch with our QA Assistant to figure out the workflow of your iOS application testing and release.