Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Sep 2013 18:25 UTC
Apple Apple's event is going on right now - and most of the new stuff already leaked weeks and months ahead of time. So, we're getting an iPhone 5S, an iPhone 5C, and iOS7 will be available later this month. I like the design of the 5C more than of the 5S; it's more playful, colourful - harking back to the coloured iMacs and PowerMac G3s. Too bad it doesn't come in red.

The fingerprint sensor in the 5S is interesting, but I wonder how accurate it will be in the real world; on top of that, with all the NSA news, I'm not particularly keen on Apple reading my fingerprint all the time. Supposedly, applications don't have access to it and it's not stored in the cloud, but I have little to no trust for companies.

The biggest news for me is the fact that the iPhone 5S has a new chip - the A7 - which has the honour of being the first 64bit chip inside a smartphone. iOS7 and first party Apple applications are all 64bit, and Xcode obviously supports it. While this obviously future-proofs the platform for more RAM, I wonder what other motives are involved here. ARM desktops and laptops, perhaps?

I doubt 64bit will provide much benefit today, but you have to hand it to Apple: at least they're done with the transition before it's even needed.

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RE[3]: so so
by chithanh on Wed 11th Sep 2013 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: so so"
chithanh
Member since:
2006-06-18

Apple of course does plenty of this pointless "look at my specs" crap too - ooohhh, its 64-bit! Who cares when you only have 1GB of RAM? It doesn't mean anything currently and probably won't for a while.

There are a number of reasons to go 64 bit ARM, and being able to use more memory is only one of them.

Also it is a bad idea to go 64 bit at the last possible moment. Better switch early, gain experience and get the kinks worked out, so that everything goes smooth when 64 bit becomes a necessity.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: so so
by galvanash on Thu 12th Sep 2013 01:38 in reply to "RE[3]: so so"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

There are a number of reasons to go 64 bit ARM, and being able to use more memory is only one of them.

Also it is a bad idea to go 64 bit at the last possible moment. Better switch early, gain experience and get the kinks worked out, so that everything goes smooth when 64 bit becomes a necessity.


I didn't say there was no reason to do it, I just said it is a meaningless distinction for the end user purchasing a phone at this time. There are currently no 64-bit applications, even when they come with only 1GB of RAM there will be no tangible benefit to using 64-bit pointers, and all other things being equal, code using 64-bit pointers will be slower than 32-bit code. Why should I, as a user, care?

And yes, I know they have more registers in the A7 so it should perform better, but that has nothing at all to do with using a 64-bit word size. If you ask me (and a lot of other people have come to the same conclusion), I don't even think going 64-bit is about mobile devices - I think Apple has plans for their swift beyond mobile. I would almost bet money that ARM64 will start popping up as an available target for OSX fat binaries in xcode in the next release or two...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: so so
by chithanh on Thu 12th Sep 2013 13:36 in reply to "RE[4]: so so"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Why should I, as a user, care?

Of course a user does not care whether his device is 32 or 64 bit. He wants it to work smoothly and have all the great features, that's it.

And yes, I know they have more registers in the A7 so it should perform better,

No, ARM is not register starved so performance will probably not be better. If anything it will be worse, as memory bandwidth is an issue in mobile devices and 64 bit applications use more memory bandwidth.

I don't even think going 64-bit is about mobile devices - I think Apple has plans for their swift beyond mobile. I would almost bet money that ARM64 will start popping up as an available target for OSX fat binaries in xcode in the next release or two...

Short and mid term goals for going 64 bit are security, more RAM and GPGPU. These equally apply to mobile as to all other forms of personal computing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: so so
by dsmogor on Sun 15th Sep 2013 13:52 in reply to "RE[3]: so so"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Actually, 64 bit code requires more space due to larger data structures so unless you plan to need more than 3.5 g during the device live cycle this should be treated as a downside as it makes onboard 1G RAM even more crowded.

Reply Parent Score: 2