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Apple's 64-bit A7 already powering advanced new audio, video features in apps and games

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
The debut of Apple's new 64-bit A7 Application Processor has been assailed by more than one industry figure insisting that the new chip isn't anything special, but a series of iOS developers are reporting huge performance gains and already using the new chip to accomplish "desktop class" tasks that were not previously possible on a mobile device.

iPhone 5s


Less than three weeks ago, Apple's head of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller launched the surprise introduction of the new A7, including an unusual level of technical detail during the iPhone 5s event.

Referring to the chip has having a "64-bit desktop class architecture" with a "modern instruction set," Schiller noted that new chip doubled the general purpose and floating point registers over the previous A6, and contained over 1 billion transistors in a 102mm die size. Such figures are uncommon in Apple's media presentations; mainstream users are unlikely to know what much of it even means.

That's left the opportunity open for critics and competitors to assert that the new chip is nothing more than a marketing charade. Qualcomm's chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher, for example, recently told the media, "there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7. I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that."

64-bit A7 faster with a longer life



Chandrasekher's opinion is particularly suspect because the A7 is already known to enable key features of iPhone 5s, including its advanced camera features (powered by the A7's Image Signal Processor, using an architecture similar to dedicated point-and-shoot cameras) and Touch ID (which relies on what Apple calls the A7's Secure Enclave Processor). Both are integrated into the A7.

On the iPhone 5s, the new 64-bit architecture of the A7 provides immediate benefits to developers thanks to its "modern instruction set," known as ARMv8, which among other features accelerates AES encryption. And because Apple manages both the development of the A7 chip and the compilers and development tools within Xcode, developers can take full advantage of new hardware and instruction set efficiencies "for free" when they recompile their apps to run on the A7.

This process has already improved Apple's own software that's bundled on the iPhone 5s, which has all been recompiled for 64-bit, from the kernel to libraries and drivers to apps such as Safari, Mail, Photos and Maps. There is a marked increase in performance observed in moving from 32-bit to 64-bit benchmarks on the same hardware, in addition to the baseline improvement of the A7 over the A6 seen in 32-bit benchmarks.

iPhone Galaxy Geekbench 3 performance numbers


The A7 isn't just faster than the previous A6; it's faster without requiring the additional cores and ramped up clock speeds of competing chips like Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa. That contributes to faster performance in a lighter, smaller device because it doesn't have to pack a larger battery to power a hot, high-revving brain that rapidly drains the battery.

As a result, Apple's iPhone 5s delivers performance equal or better performance to Samsung's latest large phablet, despite the Note 3 being equipped with twice the system RAM, a system clock running twice as fast and a battery over twice as large (3,200 mAh vs 1570 mAh in the iPhone 5s). It's not only faster (above), but vastly more efficient, allowing iPhone 5s to beat the Note 3 in battery life when browsing the web over LTE (below).

Note 3 battery life
Source: AnandTech


A variety of App Store developers have already begun taking advantage of the new A7, and what they report about their experiences in working with the new 64-bit chip dispels the notion that the iPhone 5s is simply wrapped in "marketing gimmicks."

Algoriddim leverages A7 in djay 2, vjay to introduce previously impossible features



Karim Morsy of Germany's Algoriddim noted that "optimizing djay 2 for the 64-bit A7 chip has allowed us to bring desktop-class power to our iPhone app."A7 "allowed us to introduce new features and effects that weren't possible before" - Karim Morsy, Algoriddim

Morsy added that "djay's audio processing and analysis is up to 2x faster, which not only makes the whole UI and animations run smoother but also allowed us to introduce new features and effects that weren't possible before.

"Harmonic Match, for example, automatically detects the key of a song and allows it to be transposed it into a different key by altering its pitch in real-time."

Algoriddim djay 2 & vjay
Algoriddim djay 2 & vjay


"Moreover," Morsy added, "we have measured game-changing performance boosts with our video mixing app vjay which also leverages the A7?s 64-bit architecture on iPhone 5s. HD video playback, mixing, effects, and recording on iPhone 5s brings more than double the video render resolution, processing more than 4 times more video data in real-time."

Smule uses A7 to break boundaries with its music apps



"The A7 has taken things to a new level," said Jeff Smith, the chief executive of pioneering music app developer Smule in an email to AppleInsider.

"If you recall," Smith stated, "we were the company to bring auto-tune to the iPhone with I Am T-Pain four years back. It took a lot of engineering to make this work in real-time. And to be honest, we still have too much audio-latency on the Android devices to enable I Am T-Pain to work on those devices. Since the launch of I Am T-Pain, we've added 110M new users to our network of apps.""Technologies that were formerly reserved for professionals are now available to consumers because of the 5s. It's pretty incredible? - Smule CEO Jeff Smith

He added, "we've been trying to do real-time audio convolution on mobile devices. Audio convolution is one of the most CPU intensive tasks requiring massive amounts of matrix-math. Imagine trying to model how a sound wave will bounce off of several surfaces at different positions in a room. Simulating such acoustic environments has typically been reserved to workstations and cloud computing.

"So, when we were able to first benchmark the A7 a few weeks ago, we were quite pleased to see the processing power from the clock speeds and enhanced pipeline. As a result, we were able to do real-time audio convolution in the palm of your hand."

Smith added, "with our Sing! 3.0 optimized for 5s, you can finally sing in the shower without getting wet. Or you can sing in a church, a dormitory hallway, a forest, the Taj Mahal, complete with our custom pitch correction, reverb, etc. Technologies that were formerly reserved for professionals are now available to consumers because of the 5s. It's pretty incredible."

Smule engineers noted that they were not able to get real-time audio convolution working on the iPhone 5 (or 5c), despite the phone being no slouch; both models are roughly comparable with Samsung's Galaxy S4 in Geekbench 3.0 scores. Thus the company says that the 'informal "benchmark' of just running the Sing app with convolution reverbs ranged from simply not working at all on iPhone 5, while "on the 5S everything sounded smooth and silky."

Smule also sells Sing for Android on Google Play, but there the title notes, "the audio technology behind Sing! works best on newer devices, in particular Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and other high-powered devices." The Android app also lacks support for real-time audio convolution.

Smule Sing 3.0
Smule Sing 3.0 with Vocal Effects


In optimizing other titles for the A7, Smith noted, "we discovered an issue on the A7 with our Cinebeat product which does real-time audio and video process (also CPU intensive). It deadlocked as a set of processes that were never supposed to finish first suddenly did. We were shocked."

Further, the company noted that rendering in AutoRap "saw something close to a 7x speed-up" when running on the new A7 (which again has only been out for three weeks).

ChAIR Entertainment changes the game with A7 in Infinity Blade III



"Infinity Blade III leverages the unprecedented power of Apple's new A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and OpenGL ES 3.0 to once again completely redefine the boundaries of mobile gaming," noted Laura Mustard of ChAIR Entertainment."It's true 'next gen' gaming,? - Laura Mustard, ChAIR

"With the unmatched power of the iPhone 5s and its A7 chip, we can now combine fullscreen rendering effects, tons of polygons, and advanced gameplay processing in one smooth package.

?And we are able to do all that with almost instantaneous load times, keeping gamers immersed in the experience instead of staring at a loading screen. This power has allowed us to craft the ultimate Infinity Blade experience."

Infinity Blade III


Mustard added, "the iPhone 5S allows us to have a huge, extremely detailed Dragon spewing billowing flames that engulf the entire screen, while the hero, clad in armor that reflects the environment, swipes to defeat the beast. We're rendering a full depth of field blur and bloom pass, a color adjust pass, a vignette pass, and a distortion pass - and then antialiasing the whole thing while maintaining a blazing frame rate. On a device that fits in your pocket. It sounds like voodoo magic - but it's not. It's true 'next gen' gaming.?

Additional benefits of the 64-bit A7



Apple has outlined other benefits of the A7's 64-bit architecture for app developers, noting that apps that use 64-bit integer math or custom NEON (Advanced SIMD) operations will see large performance gains. There are other advantages related to imaging, audio and video processing, photo filters and the physics calculations used in gaming.

Apple has also emphasized that iOS 7 on the A7 shares the same ABI (application binary interface) as OS X. Apple's implementation of ARMv8 diverges slightly from ARM's generic C++ ABI for the ARM 64-bit architecture, which is derived from the C++ ABI initially created for SVr4 Unix on Intel's Itanium.

The ABI changes Apple made in developing the A7 maximize compatibility with existing 64-bit code targeting desktop PC and Mac architectures. That was done because Apple's iOS isn't simply content with tacking "64-bit" on as a check-list feature. iOS is designed to bring desktop-class software into the mobile world, and the 64-bit A7 is the next step along that progression.
post #2 of 98
Oh, but I thought it was just a gimmick..../s
post #3 of 98
post #4 of 98

Powerful gimmick

post #5 of 98
Apple's "gimmick" dual-core system with 1/2 the ram and battery has more horsepower than Samsung's shitty 4-core, double-ram trash.

Fandroids everywhere will simply call DED a rabid fanboy as they know they have zero way of disputing the trash that Samsung is, and the inability of Android to efficiently use the hardware specs thrown at it.

Shameful.
post #6 of 98
*duplicate post*
Edited by sflocal - 10/4/13 at 8:26am
post #7 of 98
Meh, it's still a consumption device. Not at all like a creation device running Windows 8 that can turn out complicated formatted Word and Excel documents while multitasking legacy software in a separate window.

Apple is probably exaggerating; I bet it's only a 62 or 63 bit processor, and everyone knows it can't do real multitasking.

/s
post #8 of 98

A damn iPhone is far more powerful than some laptops that people owned not that long ago. The amount of computing power that people now carry around in their pockets is insane! Mobile devices are only getting more powerful, and we're going to start seeing more and more desktop class apps being released. Just imagine how ridiculously powerful an iPhone or iPad is going to be in a few years time, not that they're too shabby now, mind you.

 

Apple is definitely looking towards the future with their 64 bit chips, and as usual, the monkey see, monkey do crowd is going to follow suit.

 

Tim Cook had barely stepped off of the stage, and in what seemed like five minutes later, Scamsung was quick to announce that they too were going 64 bit, but they admitted that it was not coming any time soon in any of their phones. I can also safely predict that their transition will be a total mess, since this is Android that we're talking about after all. Nobody can do super smooth transitions like Apple can. And nobody's user base and developer base is as quick to adopt as Apple's user base is. Hell, I'm sure that you already know this, but iOS 7 was just recently released and the adoption rate is already crazy.

 

I will most likely be getting an iPad 5 in 3-4 weeks, if all goes according to plan, and while the A7 chip is no doubt great, I would like to see something even slightly better in the iPad, an A7x chip, like they have done in the past for previous iPads. We'll see.

post #9 of 98
64 bit is a bit of a gimmick, what really matters is the ARMv8 support.... But try selling that to customers....

Only problem I see here is fragmentation...If the difference is this large, won't we get 5s only apps ?
Edited by mausz - 10/4/13 at 2:00am
post #10 of 98
The smartphone industry is always quick to claim anything Apple does is just a gimmick or marketing hype but something like Air Gestures or eye-tracking are some sort of a radical breakthrough. The industry believes the 64-bit A7 is overkill but the Exynos 5 Octa-core processor isn't. It's OK to have more cores, but more bits is useless. The industry really has a serious bias against Apple. Anything for Android is good, but for Apple, nothing is good. With thinking like that, Apple will never be seen as being ahead of the hardware curve.
post #11 of 98

This chip is so badass, there's so much potential!

 

I'm not even thinking about the a8, I'm just waiting for a a7x. What will that beast do graphic's wise?

And that's when I cry. They can't take advantage of it now, because it would destroy older iPads. Oh well, future proof at least, even with 1gb ram.

 

Who here is, in secret, hoping for Apple to release an a7 or a7x (oh boy oh boy!) on the iPad mini?

post #12 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post
 

This chip is so badass, there's so much potential!

 

I'm not even thinking about the a8, I'm just waiting for a a7x. What will that beast do graphic's wise?

And that's when I cry. They can't take advantage of it now, because it would destroy older iPads. Oh well, future proof at least, even with 1gb ram.

 

Who here is, in secret, hoping for Apple to release an a7 or a7x (oh boy oh boy!) on the iPad mini?

 

Well I'm hoping for an A7 or A7X iPad (large). If that happens I'll buy that instead of a PS4 for gaming.

post #13 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by poksi View Post

Oh, but I thought it was just a gimmick..../s
Boom
post #14 of 98
Apple has smashed them.

Intriguing that Apple wants the iOS and Mac OS X 64 bit binaries/code lines up. But is it?

It's 'X' afterall. iOS is just 'X' when it comes down to it.

Some of the apps so far are just incredible. Desktop class performance.

With the iPad 5 with A7 X chip ....

...this is just the beginning. (With Intel's 5-10% gains on cpus every 12-18 months...and Apple's double iOS cpu gains and with an app store with software in a more efficient blue print...the performance gap is going to narrow markedly in the next two years.)

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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post #15 of 98

The A7 chip is the most excited I've been about an Apple cpu since the G5.

 

Who would have thought 10 years ago Apple would actually be designing their own cpu and gpu socs that would rival desktop hardware from only 4-5 years.

 

If it keeps doubling...then you have something that will rival desktop from only a 2-3 years ago.

 

In your pocket?

 

It's astonishing.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #16 of 98

Gimmick schmimmick, Apple has just rendered all other mobile chips obsolete.

 

That's why the non-Apple mob are so keen to poo poo the 64-bit break-through: their product is now a dead-end and they'll have to play copy copy catch up all over again. Only they'll be year or more behind (again). 

 

BTW: are those Samedung chip data with or without the 20% fake speed boost?

 

ed. OK, the Figure caption says "Disabled by AnandTech etc." 


Edited by enzos - 10/4/13 at 4:04am
post #17 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

..., Scamsung was quick to announce that they too were going 64 bit, but they admitted that it was not coming any time soon in any of their phones.

 

Yeah, but they will surely paint it gold. The price on the market is already rising on announcement :D  

Besides, I've heard gold paint on the plastic surface is a blast! :D

post #18 of 98
"Only problem I see here is fragmentation...If the difference is this large, won't we get 5s only apps ?"

You'll get 5S only "features", yes. Just like the audio convolution described in the article. And just like iOS features that Apple only enables for newer devices.

There was a developer article stating that the switch from 32 to 64 bits also enabled Apple to make significant performance optimizations in the Objective-C runtime. In some cases speeding up code by 100%. That was due to adding flags to unused portions of pointers.
post #19 of 98

It will be funny to compile an app in a year or two and create dual app bundles, running on Intel Macs and AMacs :D

post #20 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctwise View Post

"Only problem I see here is fragmentation...If the difference is this large, won't we get 5s only apps ?"

You'll get 5S only "features", yes. Just like the audio convolution described in the article. And just like iOS features that Apple only enables for newer devices.

There was a developer article stating that the switch from 32 to 64 bits also enabled Apple to make significant performance optimizations in the Objective-C runtime. In some cases speeding up code by 100%. That was due to adding flags to unused portions of pointers.

The more information that comes out, the more impressive the A7 sounds. It's pointless to argue with the trolls about whether it's the 64 bit architecture, more registers, faster data access, or new instructions. Unless you're a developer, no one cares. Its capability is unprecedented in a mobile chip.

I'm extremely impressed by the audio convolution. Changing the key of a song in real time and having it come out smooth is amazing.
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post #21 of 98
what Apple's doing here is what they've always done. March to their own drumbeat. While Microsoft has been attempting for years to slap Windows on everything that moves, Apple correctly forked OSX with the release of the iPhone and then correctly proceeded to use iOS as their tablet OS.They caught a lot of flack for that, back in 2010 but were once again proven right and all the imitators started slapping Android on their offerings.
Now that mobile hardware has evolved, we may be seeing the first steps taken into merging the two OS's.
Same goes for other Apple forward thinking like the M7 co processor. Benefits may not be immediate, but new doors are being opened. I guess Apple could've taken the easy way and just come out with a phablet with huge battery and then claim awesome battery life. They decided to find new ways to get more out of existing technology however. Example, device isn't moving, then stop pinging for location data thus saving precious power. More such innovations are sure to follow.
post #22 of 98

inspiring. great article.
and the ultimate estimate may be
ios x / os xi
will definitely sooner than later be combined.
crossing fingers for 2015

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apple user since 1983..

IIe, IIc, 128k, Plus, Se/30, IIci, LC, SI, LCIII, PPC7100, G3, iMac Bondi

Newton MP2000, iPod 10Gb / Touch 4g, iPhone / 3G

PowerBook 170 / G3 Lombard / G4 17" 1GHz

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post #23 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Meh, it's still a consumption device. Not at all like a creation device running Windows 8 that can turn out complicated formatted Word and Excel documents while multitasking legacy software in a separate window.

Apple is probably exaggerating; I bet it's only a 62 or 63 bit processor, and everyone knows it can't do real multitasking.

/s

Lol

61.5 I bet 1wink.gif
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post #24 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
 It's not only faster (above), but vastly more efficient, allowing iPhone 5s to beat the Note 3 in battery life when browsing the web over LTE (below).

 

This is a really good article DED overall, but that part is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. Clearly powering a screen almost 6in at a higher resolution is going to require more energy than one using 4in for something like browsing. The end experience shows both devices getting somewhere 8+ hours, so that doesn't prove much of anything from the end perspective. You would have to dig deeper into a PPW metric to expose efficiency. (Maybe they should start doing that)

Think of it this way, no one will be surprised a Camry will cover a few more miles on a complete tank of gas than a Camero despite have a smaller tank. We don't look at it that way, we use MPG to level the field. 

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post #25 of 98

An article by a fan for fans. Unfortunately dual core  is still a dual core, as seen from some benchmarks that stress all cores:

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/7

 

Check out the physics tests. A7 is possibly the best dual core ARM chip there is, but naturally it cannot outperform good quad core chips in tasks that really utilize all cores you have.

 

What also is alarming that iPhone 5s's GPU loses to Adreno 330 in GLBenchmark 2.7 (Egypt HD, offscreen 1080p). Even if iPhone 5s's next generation mobile GPU was 25% faster than Adreno 330, the result would still be a small disappointment. A7 has also a miserable triangle throughput when compared to even iPhone 5's GPU... With A7 you gain some but lose some...

 

All in all, A7 is a great mobile chip, but it's not really a revolution. Inside the always-down-clocked Apple world it might be, but if you take other platforms into account it's not so fantastic any more. Especially now that Apple will be using A7 for the next 12 months and competitors will once again keep on launching their new stuff that contain Snapdragon 800s and other new stuff. But a nice catch up from Apple with A7.

post #26 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotApple View Post
 

An article by a fan for fans. Unfortunately dual core  is still a dual core, as seen from some benchmarks that stress all cores:

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/7

 

Check out the physics tests. A7 is possibly the best dual core ARM chip there is, but naturally it cannot outperform good quad core chips in tasks that really utilize all cores you have.

 

What also is alarming that iPhone 5s's GPU loses to Adreno 330 in GLBenchmark 2.7 (Egypt HD, offscreen 1080p). Even if iPhone 5s's next generation mobile GPU was 25% faster than Adreno 330, the result would still be a small disappointment. A7 has also a miserable triangle throughput when compared to even iPhone 5's GPU... With A7 you gain some but lose some...

 

All in all, A7 is a great mobile chip, but it's not really a revolution. Inside the always-down-clocked Apple world it might be, but if you take other platforms into account it's not so fantastic any more. Especially now that Apple will be using A7 for the next 12 months and competitors will once again keep on launching their new stuff that contain Snapdragon 800s and other new stuff. But a nice catch up from Apple with A7.

 

Lol now imagine if you read what Anand said about those specific results... poor troll.

Basically the a7 alone has put Apple months ahead of the best tablet CPUs available, even from intel, and ignoring what is happening as a platform.

 

The snapdragon 800 and bay trail are already beaten, friend, look at the G2 and note3, for example. Not only that, Android apps can't (in a million years) take advantage of it because it would put 95% of android costumers out of the party.

 

Sometimes I wonder if you guys try that on purpose or are just stupid.

post #27 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotApple View Post
 

An article by a fan for fans. Unfortunately dual core  is still a dual core, as seen from some benchmarks that stress all cores:

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/7

 

Check out the physics tests. A7 is possibly the best dual core ARM chip there is, but naturally it cannot outperform good quad core chips in tasks that really utilize all cores you have.

 

What also is alarming that iPhone 5s's GPU loses to Adreno 330 in GLBenchmark 2.7 (Egypt HD, offscreen 1080p). Even if iPhone 5s's next generation mobile GPU was 25% faster than Adreno 330, the result would still be a small disappointment. A7 has also a miserable triangle throughput when compared to even iPhone 5's GPU... With A7 you gain some but lose some...

 

All in all, A7 is a great mobile chip, but it's not really a revolution. Inside the always-down-clocked Apple world it might be, but if you take other platforms into account it's not so fantastic any more. Especially now that Apple will be using A7 for the next 12 months and competitors will once again keep on launching their new stuff that contain Snapdragon 800s and other new stuff. But a nice catch up from Apple with A7.

 

nice catch up?  Samdung phones continue to show massive lag on even the most basic apps (telephone, address book).  Even the newest Note3 lags.  While the 1 year old 5 is smooth as hell.  I think the Android army needs to catch up.

post #28 of 98
Interesting how it's the audio developers that are first to leverage the A7. I'm waiting to see what the rest of them come up with (like Auria, for example).

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post #29 of 98
Ios8 welcome to mac, shell we play a game!
post #30 of 98

Just being a devils advocate here. We laud Apple for its attention to detail, exquisite design, user experience, customer service, and all the intangibles that make it great. We bristle when the critics play the spec-war game and explain that specs mean nothing if the above intangibles aren't there.

 

But now we have a CPU and hardware that really kicks butt and suddenly WE want to play the spec-war game because we can. If we don't care about specs than we don't, not just when we have the advantage for a while. 

 

For me it's still the entire package. Arguing with spec-monkeys will get you nowhere. They always have an answer for everything, even the cheating going on for Android benchmarks. Just take a gander at the post from the resident spec-monkey in this very thread.

post #31 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

64 bit is a bit of a gimmick, what really matters is the ARMv8 support.... But try selling that to customers....

Only problem I see here is fragmentation...If the difference is this large, won't we get 5s only apps ?

It's not fragmentation, it's PROGRESSION. Like DED said in this article, it's going to enable new and enhanced functionality as well as whole new classes of apps. With iOS 7 and the iPhone 5s Apple has successfully executed a one-two punch which has simultaneously captured the attention of customers and developers.

These are facts and will survive any amount of yap-yap trying to denigrate Apple or to inflate the competition.

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post #32 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

It's not fragmentation, it's PROGRESSION.

I like that 1biggrin.gif
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post #33 of 98

A switch down the road to ARM on Apple's desktop OS seems more and more likely.  I wouldn't say a certainty; for now, Apple is just hedging its bets.  I wouldn't mind if they abandoned X86 entirely except for that *%^$#ing Quicken which still can't/doesn't make a decent version for OS-X.

post #34 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Just being a devils advocate here. We laud Apple for its attention to detail, exquisite design, user experience, customer service, and all the intangibles that make it great. We bristle when the critics play the spec-war game and explain that specs mean nothing if the above intangibles aren't there.

But now we have a CPU and hardware that really kicks butt and suddenly WE want to play the spec-war game because we can. If we don't care about specs than we don't, not just when we have the advantage for a while. 

For me it's still the entire package. Arguing with spec-monkeys will get you nowhere. They always have an answer for everything, even the cheating going on for Android benchmarks. Just take a gander at the post from the resident spec-monkey in this very thread.

I don't think it's as simple as that. It's about capability.

The A7 gives the 5S the capability to change the key of a song in real time. That's a capability that other phones don't offer. While it is undoubtedly meaningless to most people, for some people, it would be enough to justify buying the phone. Other developers are finding similar quantum leaps in performance which open new capabilities.

While I agree that "my phone runs game xyz 3% faster than your phone" is a meaningless spec-war game, the ability to add new functionality that the competition can't match is an entirely different matter - and absolutely worth talking about.
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post #35 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

A switch down the road to ARM on Apple's desktop OS seems more and more likely.  I wouldn't say a certainty; for now, Apple is just hedging its bets.  I wouldn't mind if they abandoned X86 entirely except for that *%^$#ing Quicken which still can't/doesn't make a decent version for OS-X.

I don't see it any time soon. Even the slowest MBA is still many times faster than the iPhone 5S. While the 5S might be enough for many people, I just don't see Apple introducing a new Mac which is an order of magnitude slower than the old one.

Heck, think about how much grief the got over the PowerPC - which was faster than the old one with native apps, but a good bit slower with Rosetta. If EVERYTHING is forced to run slower, it would be disastrous.

I can, however, see a laptop-style iPad (call it the iPad Pro) which would run on ARM. They could offer both the MBA-Intel and the iPad Pro-ARM for some time to get people used to the idea while allowing ARM to continue to close the gap.
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post #36 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

Just being a devils advocate here. We laud Apple for its attention to detail, exquisite design, user experience, customer service, and all the intangibles that make it great. We bristle when the critics play the spec-war game and explain that specs mean nothing if the above intangibles aren't there.

 

But now we have a CPU and hardware that really kicks butt and suddenly WE want to play the spec-war game because we can. If we don't care about specs than we don't, not just when we have the advantage for a while. 

 

For me it's still the entire package. Arguing with spec-monkeys will get you nowhere. They always have an answer for everything, even the cheating going on for Android benchmarks. Just take a gander at the post from the resident spec-monkey in this very thread.

 

That's a totally different beast.

 

Fandroids vomit things like "my phone is better" because it has a faster processor, when we know that despite the faster processor the phone is slower. That's the way Android works. Right?

 

Not only that, those processors mean nothing because they can't be used on everyday tasks, otherwise 95% of android phones would be useless.

 

The a6 and software made the iphone 5 the fastest phone, but the a7 is a gate to another world. It means a lot, not because of benchmarks, but because of the benefits that the whole platform is already having.

 

Not only that, now, Apple is Kicking Microsoft's ass on OSes and mobile office suits, Google's Ass on services, Samsung's ass on hardware, Everybody's ass on retail, Adobe's ass on pro-software, all other PC OEMs ass in high end sales, and now Intel and Qualcomm's ass on CPUs... And they are:

 

 

 

That's quite a list for a single company, and the P/E is 10 or less lol

 

To put it simply: the a7 is great because it shows that the true ass kicking is only starting.

post #37 of 98
There is no evidence that any of these gains are coming from 64 bit versus 32 bit. They are coming from other changes made simultaneous to the jump to 64 bit. The reason 32 bit apps run slower is that they are running in the old instruction set on the chip's compatibility mode. ARM probably could've made the core 32 bit and left in everything else and gotten the same gains. So, it wasn't really apples choice to go to 64, but ARM's. On the other hand, apple did choose to market 64 bit as a advantage, and Qualcom's chief is right to call BS. Perhaps he knows a bit more than those of you commenting here.
post #38 of 98

I think many critics of A7 were jaded by Microsoft's slow and awkward transition from 32 to 64 bit, as well Intel's insistence of a separate product architecture for the 64-bit processor initially.  Many people also don't understand the difference between 64-bit address space (memory) and 64-bit instruction set (code).

 

Because Apple controls the processor architecture as well the OS and the App Store ecosystem, only Apple can pull this off and establish it in what seems like a short time frame.

post #39 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonbirge View Post

I have to call BS here on the fanboy article. There is no evidence that any of these gains are coming from 64 bit versus 32 bit. They are coming from other changes made simultaneous to the jump to 64 bit. The reason 32 bit apps run slower is that they are running in the old instruction set on the chip's compatibility mode. ARM probably could've made the core 32 bit and left in everything else and gotten the same gains. So, it wasn't really apples choice to go to 64, but ARM's. On the other hand, apple did choose to market 64 bit as a advantage, and Qualcom's chief is right to call BS. Perhaps he knows a bit more than those of you commenting here.

 

 

Oh look, we've got another one over here.

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post #40 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I don't think it's as simple as that. It's about capability.

The A7 gives the 5S the capability to change the key of a song in real time. That's a capability that other phones don't offer. While it is undoubtedly meaningless to most people, for some people, it would be enough to justify buying the phone. Other developers are finding similar quantum leaps in performance which open new capabilities.

While I agree that "my phone runs game xyz 3% faster than your phone" is a meaningless spec-war game, the ability to add new functionality that the competition can't match is an entirely different matter - and absolutely worth talking about.

 

Bingo.

 

Someone with true vision will look at an advance in processor power and think "what new feature could I implement now that I have this much power at my disposal."

 

While others will go "meh, my phone is already fast enough - it's a waste having that much power in a phone."

 

Which of these two people would make a good App developer?

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