Revolutionary? Evolutionary? Apple has become a machine at releasing new products within their iOS line ever since the original iPhone was introduced on June 29, 2007. Producing products on a regular basis with a subset of upgraded features and software tweaks have been disregarded as evolutionary. The retina screen was one feature I could personally argue had the biggest impact. With the subsequent new release of the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini let’s focus on the one thing that is future proof and makes a difference. Apple has the first 64 bit processor in a smart phone.
64 bit processing and what it means
Apple’s new A7 chip was lauded as the first phone to have a 64-bit processor. The redesigned iOS7 has been recoded to have its core suite of apps 64-bit compatible. So? You are used to smart phones and computers doubling their speed every 18 months and using terms such as dual-core and quad core in their processing endeavors.
64-bit means two important things
1. An ability to add more than 4 GB of RAM to a mobile device
2. An ability to calculate numbers much more efficiently, making tasks like encoding and decoding video, 3-dimensional modeling and switching between applications with ease.
How much of a jump-start did Apple get?
Samsung, Qualcomm, Intel and all of the rest of the big players in the mobile industry have stated that their new architecture will be 64-bit. Analysts give Apple about 9 to twelve months before Android devices catch up. Samsung has explicitly stated that their next version of devices will have 64 bit processors.
Read between the lines – Always –
Desktop OS’s have been steadily moving toward 64 bit processing. Even Windows XP, the stalwart component of most business enterprise environments had a 64 bit version. Released in 2005 (8 years ago), it satiated the need for more RAM and speed. The computer you are using today that has been produced in the last 5 years probably has a 64 bit OS and processor. If it has more than 4GB of RAM, I can guarantee that. As for the Apple faithful, if your OS version is running OS X Snow Leopard (2009) or later you are running on 64 bit architecture.
Apple is staying ahead of the curve to make one thing clear: iOS devices are going to be competitive as productivity devices, blurring the line between entertainment tablets and business tools. If there is an app that runs on your desktop, be prepared to have a port that runs on your iPad. Will they replace high-end desktops used for video / graphic editing, accounting programs, etc.? No. Will they be a sufficient replacement for laptops and out of town meetings? Absolutely. To see this market strategy already in place look no further than what Microsoft is doing with their Surface Pro product line.
Hi Apple. We have worked within your iOS ecosystem for years. Your policies and market structure are far from perfect. On the other hand your brand and quality in hardware and software is unmatched. Xcode, the development software we use will become 64 bit as the default even though 32 bit will be supported for years to come. We see your vision and are committed to this opportunity. Authentic Imaging will begin coding 64 bit applications for iOS devices in the upcoming months. Stay tuned.