Distributing 32 or 64 bit Binaries

Hi all, I was just wondering what the best practice is for distributing binaries on OSX is. Here are my thoughts on the issue:

  • So far, I can’t tell any performance differences between 64 and 32 bit builds
  • OSX seems to default to loading the 64bit version anyway so users would have to manually switch on ‘Open in 32bit mode’ which I doubt many would do
  • Since 10.5 (maybe even 10.4) 64bit apps have been supported and I believe are the norm now
  • Building a universal binary just takes twice as long and generates a binary that is twice as big
  • Since make builds 3rd party libraries in 64bit by default it is easier to link with these in a 64 only build

Basically I’m looking for any reason that I should continue 32bit support. Is it necessary at all these days?

Any thoughts/experiences welcome.

Well, 64-bit’s the norm these days for newer hardware, but I think you could still buy a machine with a 32-bit CPU until maybe a couple of years ago, so some people will probably still be stuck on that. No idea what percentage of people that might be though.