The 64 bit rant

Posted:
in AppleOutsider
Here we are, almost four months after the release of Catalina, and the Apple Discussion forums are still raging about the 64 bit requirement. Both developers and users were warned for almost two years in advance of the change yet it appears many did not get the message. There are pages and pages of rants blaming Apple for apps no longer working with Catalina. The biggest rants are from users who find their ancient copy of Microsoft Office is toast. When told they have two options, buy Office 2019 or subscribe to Office 365, they fall into anaphylactic  shock and coma. Then comes the demand to downgrade back to Mojave or earlier to regain operation. When told to simply restore from their Time Machine backup or the conversation ends with “Time Machine backup? What’t THAT?”

There are other discussion threads going on about third party apps that don’t work. The big ones are The Print Shop and Hallmark Card Studio, both which are Windows ports from developers like MacKiev. And when paid upgrades are available the rage goes even higher at the thought of shelling out money to update a 10 year old piece of software the user assumed would work forever.

In the end, Apple gets all the blame and developers get a pass. I’m letting off steam at how ignorant people are about technology. We’ve had personal computers for over forty years now and nothing has changed for the typical non-technical user. They are clueless, frustrated, unintuitive, angry all the while knowing they have to use technology to get on with their lives. 

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,807member
    lkrupp said:
    Here we are, almost four months after the release of Catalina, and the Apple Discussion forums are still raging about the 64 bit requirement. Both developers and users were warned for almost two years in advance of the change yet it appears many did not get the message. There are pages and pages of rants blaming Apple for apps no longer working with Catalina. The biggest rants are from users who find their ancient copy of Microsoft Office is toast. When told they have two options, buy Office 2019 or subscribe to Office 365, they fall into anaphylactic  shock and coma. Then comes the demand to downgrade back to Mojave or earlier to regain operation. When told to simply restore from their Time Machine backup or the conversation ends with “Time Machine backup? What’t THAT?”

    There are other discussion threads going on about third party apps that don’t work. The big ones are The Print Shop and Hallmark Card Studio, both which are Windows ports from developers like MacKiev. And when paid upgrades are available the rage goes even higher at the thought of shelling out money to update a 10 year old piece of software the user assumed would work forever.

    In the end, Apple gets all the blame and developers get a pass. I’m letting off steam at how ignorant people are about technology. We’ve had personal computers for over forty years now and nothing has changed for the typical non-technical user. They are clueless, frustrated, unintuitive, angry all the while knowing they have to use technology to get on with their lives. 
    Major software upgrades break things. Frequent major upgrades break things more often. As a result, chaos ensues. The Apple solution is to keep everything up to date but there comes a point when that isn't feasible for certain users.

    I haven't upgraded beyond High Sierra but Apple has always had HUGE problems informing users about the consequences of major upgrades. 

    This time around I have no idea how they handled the information around the upgrade but the logical thing would be a pre-scan of all installed applications and a warning about those that would not be supported. If that happened, there really isn't any excuse for the complaining after the installation.

    Last year I had to jump through major hoops after getting the iPhone XR. To the point that Apple Store employees were given ALL the information about my setup but didn't listen to me. The 'sale' is all that counted and someone else would have to deal with me after that. Of course, my fears about backward compatibility were full on confirmed after the old phone had been erased and we were trying to restore the backup to the XR. Impossible they said and when I told them they had been informed of everything they needed to know before even starting the whole thing they just shrugged and tried to pass me onto to another department (tech support) for which I would have to book for another day.

    I ended up packing everything up, going home and doing the 'impossible' from home but there were lots of unnecessary hoops to jump through. Starting with Apple going out of its way to hide older OSX installers. Completely unnecessary.


  • Reply 2 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,506moderator
    lkrupp said:
    Here we are, almost four months after the release of Catalina, and the Apple Discussion forums are still raging about the 64 bit requirement. Both developers and users were warned for almost two years in advance of the change yet it appears many did not get the message. There are pages and pages of rants blaming Apple for apps no longer working with Catalina.
    Some apps are abandoned and won't be updated and are part of people's workflows. It doesn't make sense to rely on obsolete software but sometimes there's not a better alternative. When the OS update appears in the panel, it doesn't list all the apps currently on the system that will stop working. It would be easy enough for Apple to put up a warning dialog that says the apps listed will stop working after applying the upgrade and require the user to agree to it. There are 3rd party apps that list incompatible apps:

    https://www.stclairsoft.com/Go64/index.html

    Apple develops some of the apps that stop working in Catalina like Quicktime Pro and Final Cut 7. It's not that people can't migrate to newer versions, most people have, but old projects don't open in the new versions or features are missing. Apple had more than a decade to make those apps 64-bit compatible and didn't.

    Dropping 32-bit support had to come at some point so there's not much that can be done about it. Some apps are failing on Catalina even though they are 64-bit. There are some workarounds like here:

    https://www.dpreview.com/news/1439854984/this-app-can-modify-aperture-and-iphoto-so-they-will-continue-to-work-with-macos-catalina
    https://medium.com/@cormiertyshawn895/deep-dive-how-does-retroactive-work-95fe0e5ea49e

    It seems Apple removed some system frameworks in Catalina too. Apple gave people plenty of warnings but never gave any solutions. This is the same thing they are doing with OpenGL/OpenCL and Metal. They are telling everyone that things are going to break but not offering a viable alternative. There is a cross-platform graphics framework to replace OpenGL/OpenCL in the form of Vulkan and Apple isn't supporting it so developers have to develop specific code for Apple's platform, which isn't needed for any other platform or they drop support for Apple's platform. Apple's decisions here are only causing problems for developers and end users with no benefits. Developers and users don't benefit from having libraries and software being made obsolete.

    Apple is a big company with a lot of resources, more than any company in the world so they have the luxury of being able to make this process easier. Listing incompatible apps during the install stage should be easy enough. They could put some development effort into some of their own apps to get them running on 64-bit, it's not like we're going to move to 128-bit, it would let the software run for a while and give companies time to make replacements.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,164member
    I don't see why Apple didn't put a warning on the Catalina upgrade that presented users with a list of apps that wouldn't work any more, and that they might want to check on that.  That would help get ahead of these sorts of issues.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    crowley said:
    I don't see why Apple didn't put a warning on the Catalina upgrade that presented users with a list of apps that wouldn't work any more, and that they might want to check on that.  That would help get ahead of these sorts of issues.
    Because then they wouldn't get the Catalina adoption numbers upper management demanded. 
  • Reply 5 of 7
    We need to realize that we are at the mercy of  whom seem to place a lifespan on their products but making software and OSX that make our products obsolete.
    either these software updates are important for speed or security reasons, they are wiling to sacrifice customers over these changes.
    I don't like comparing  to Microsoft, who seem to design their programs on all platforms because we expected more form  and paid more.
    the best we can do is still use older products like MacBooks that can still run todays programs while still sue older programs.


  • Reply 6 of 7
    I don’t know about anyone else but for a significant amount of time before Catalina I would get a message saying that I was opening a 32 bit program and that 32 bit software would quit working with Catalina. I may not have gotten it with every program that I had that was 32 bit but I definitely looked at my frequently used programs and checked if they either were or planning to be 64 bit and Catalina compliant. I had some android video programs that quit working but I knew about it beforehand and I had found replacement programs to install if I still needed that viewer. I don’t know if only select software notified me -in other words software that I opened during the warning period that would soon be obsolete but I haven’t had a lot of software problems caused by 64 bit Catalina obsoleting old formats/programs. 

    I agree it would have been easier to just have a program that scanned my system and said that these programs would quit working. Even better if it said that there was a new version and better still if it offered alternatives if that software wasn’t being updated at all. 
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,181administrator
    I don’t know about anyone else but for a significant amount of time before Catalina I would get a message saying that I was opening a 32 bit program and that 32 bit software would quit working with Catalina. I may not have gotten it with every program that I had that was 32 bit but I definitely looked at my frequently used programs and checked if they either were or planning to be 64 bit and Catalina compliant. I had some android video programs that quit working but I knew about it beforehand and I had found replacement programs to install if I still needed that viewer. I don’t know if only select software notified me -in other words software that I opened during the warning period that would soon be obsolete but I haven’t had a lot of software problems caused by 64 bit Catalina obsoleting old formats/programs. 

    I agree it would have been easier to just have a program that scanned my system and said that these programs would quit working. Even better if it said that there was a new version and better still if it offered alternatives if that software wasn’t being updated at all. 
    Like System Profiler? We talked about this two years ago.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/02/27/how-to-see-which-applications-on-your-mac-are-32-bit-and-wont-be-supported-in-the-future
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