32 bits, 64 bits, whatever it takes…

A few worried looks have come our way lately, from folks wondering whether Audiobook Builder and CheckBook Pro will be ready before Apple requires all Mac App Store updates support 64-bit in June of 2018.  Don’t worry, friends.  Things are both simpler and more complicated than they seem.

Here’s Apple’s most recent statement:

At WWDC 2017, we announced new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit starting January 2018, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018. If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS. macOS High Sierra will be the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromise.

Boiled down, Apple will require all new Mac App Store applications include 64-bit support in January of 2018, and all Mac App Store updates include 64-bit support in June of 2018. 32-bit applications will continue to work as usual in macOS 10.13 High Sierra as well as whatever comes after, though Apple mentions the possibility of compromise.  We think that compromise will be minimal or unnoticeable for many applications.

Let’s compare this to what’s been happening on iOS and get a clearer picture:  for the last two years, iOS has warned that running a 32-bit app might impact performance.  In most cases, performance wasn’t affected and 32-bit apps kept trucking.  Still, this fall, iOS 11 will put the kibosh on 32-bit for good.  We expect the 32-bit party on macOS to end in about the same way. A couple of years of warnings with no real performance issues before something like macOS 10.15 in 2019 sends 32-bit to the history books.

It’s kind of a non-issue for the next two years.

So how does this play into our roadmap for Audiobook Builder and CheckBook Pro?

We tidied up a few things and, in addition to check printing, the latest pre-release build of CheckBook Pro 2.6 has that sweet, sweet 64-bit goodness.  When 2.6 is released you can grab the update and everything’s groovy.  Regular CheckBook users will get the 64-bit part sans check printing.

Audiobook Builder has a slightly more complicated path.  We’ll level with you:  It makes extensive use of QuickTime 7, which won’t survive macOS’s move to 64-bit-only, and that’s a major rub.  Our plan has always been to make Audiobook Builder 2.0 the point where we migrate from QuickTime 7 to something more future-proof.  The catch is that’ll mean a few months of re-engineering the “Builder” part of the application – and we won’t have the resources for that until both CheckBook Pro 2.6 and CheckBook for iOS are out.  We’re about to begin the yearly scramble to update all our applications for the next major macOS release, and we’ll have another scramble just like this one same time next year.  Some years the scramble is quick and painless, and some years not so much.  All of that means Audiobook Builder 2.0 has to be pushed out to mid to late 2018, at least.  Just remember 32-bit applications will continue to work until then.  You’ve got Apple’s word on that.

Questions or feedback for us?  Get in touch at support@splasm.com and we’ll get you taken care of!

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