Skip to main content

Apple gives May 1 deadline for Mac apps to switch from garbage collection to ARC

Apple announced today that new Mac apps and app updates will no longer be able to use garbage collection, a system for managing an application's memory use, after May 1. Instead, developers must switch to using Automatic Reference Counting (ARC).

Garbage collection was deprecated quite some time ago in OS X Mountain Lion as Apple wanted developers to start adopting ARC, which made its debut in the previous version OS X Lion.

As developers make the transition, Apple notes that they can take advantage of the migration assistant in Xcode to ease the process.

Source: Apple (opens in new tab)

  • Anyone want to give the lowdown on reference counting, garbage collection and automatic reference counting? And why Apple decided to abandon garbage collection?
  • I don't know much, but I think garbage collection isn't very efficient, it is the main reason why android devices need so much more RAM (2 GB) while Apple devices can use just 1 GB and work just as (or even more) efficiently.
  • Ignore the iOS vs Android thing for a moment. This is a Mac OS X decision, and Macs effectively have unlimited memory and unlimited CPU compared to a handheld. ARC is 3 to 4 years old, so sometime 4 or 5 years ago, Apple believed that they couldn't get the Obj-C garbage collector to work better and went with ARC instead. Now with ARC as a requirement, the garbage collector is going to go away in the near future. Back in the 90s, NeXT didn't do the work to add garbage collection and used reference counting instead. In the aughts, Apple thought garbage collection could be done, but has been pushing with ARC for years now. Swift also does not use garbage collection, but uses ARC, likely for Obj-C compatibility reasons. So, maybe it just has something to do with the Obj-C runtime being unsuitable for garbage collection.
  • Android devices don't need more RAM. It runs fine on 1GB, as the Galaxy S2 was one of the best devices ever and it used that amount and was updated all the way up to JB and had no issues with TouchWiz on top of it. That's a bit of a fallacy, and makes you look dumb repeating it. Don't mistake Apple being a cheapskate and margin addict for Android needing 2GB RAM to run decently. Current versions are even more optimized than 2.3.x was, so you're making literally no sense. The RAM is there as a selling point, to aid in multitasking (which is horrible on iOS and WP by comparison), and because they can.
  • I'm sorry but I don't agree with you. My iphone 6 Plus is miles ahead in terms of performance versus my old Note 3 that had double the RAM. Sent from the iMore App
  • How does the post topic " garbage...deadline..." Lead to some idiot saying "Samsung Galaxy is the best device ever!" shut up-go home