Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Apps Lost With Catalina

Jim Dalrymple:

For those that have been following along, 64-bit is not that new. Apple has been talking to developers about the 64-bit transition for several years. Chances are your apps have already been updated to take advantage of the architecture.

However, if your apps haven’t been updated, they won’t run on the new operating system. You should be aware of that before you upgrade.

Peter Cohen:

Important macOS Catalina upgrade tip: Remember that checking your Mac hard drive for 32-bit apps only reveals the apps that won’t work which you have installed. It won’t show you anything about the state of apps you have in the cloud, via app stores like the MAS, Steam, etc.

A. Lee Bennett Jr.:

Not that I’m updating from macOS 10.12 to 10.15 super soon, but I’m looking at the non-64-bit apps and worrying[…]

TLA Systems (previously):

DragThing is written using the 32-bit Carbon APIs that Apple have now removed in macOS 10.15 Catalina. It will no longer run if you update to Catalina, and there are no plans to make a new version that will.

We are sorry to say, DragThing has launched its last app.

John Gruber:

I haven’t used DragThing in many many years, but for a long time it was essential to my workflow, and I firmly believe it was a much better launcher than Apple’s own system Dock ever has been. DragThing had features — like the ability to create custom palettes that only appeared in a certain app — that I don’t know how one would replicate today.

Fetch Softworks (previously):

Apple had made it clear that 32-bit apps like Fetch 5.7 weren’t long for this world, so it looked like the time had come to lay Fetch to rest for good. But I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye, and it occurred to me that there was a third option, something between finishing Fetch 6 and letting Fetch die: I could port Fetch 5.7’s Carbon user interface to Cocoa and make a 64-bit Fetch 5.8. […] Fetch 5.8 is now in beta testing; you can sign up to test it here. It currently implements about 90% of Fetch 5.7.7’s features with about 50% of Fetch 5.7.7’s reliability.


While AccountEdge is currently a 32 bit application, we have been hard at work on a 64-bit version.


We do not have an update and we still strongly encourage you to delay your upgrade to macOS Catalina until we have released a compatible version of AccountEdge.

Nilay Patel:

Every late-2000s tech blogger take a moment of silence: the legendary Turbo.264 HD video encoding dongle will never get a 64-bit app and so is now officially dead

Fujitsu (previously):

The 64 bit application for macOS is not provided for the old scanner models such as ScanSnap S1500, S1500M, and etc. because their support periods have already expired. If you wish to have the 64 bit application for macOS, please consider purchasing ScanSnap products that are currently available on the market.

Brent Simmons:

It’s not my intention, and it’s not what I want to happen — but NetNewsWire 3.3.2 apparently does not launch in the next version of macOS (10.15, Catalina).


NetNewsWire 3.3.2 was the last release of the full version that I worked on, before selling NetNewsWire to Black Pixel, and I’ve heard from lots of people that they’ve been using it ever since. They never switched.

That version is still unequaled, in certain respects.

Stickshift Software:

Mailsmith is no longer under active development. It will not be upgraded for 64-bit macOS compatibility.

PowerMail also looks like it will not get a 64-bit version.

rolleiflex (John Siracusa):

I know there is a contingent of people who are stuck at Adobe CS6, whose certain critical components are 32 bit. Since Adobe no longer sells permanent licenses, opting to only rent their software instead, it’s impossible to get these updated. And these expensive and still-in-use licenses are going to die the moment people update to Catalina.

Toon Boom (via Ben Juwono):

If you have Harmony 16 or Storyboard Pro 6 (or prior versions), they will not open in Catalina. Harmony 17 and future versions of Toon Boom’s software will be compatible with macOS Catalina.

Casey McDermott (Hacker News):

Sadly, we just decided to abandon the Cocoa update for our app. It’s not easy to walk away from 3 years of work, but better 3 years lost than 5. Time will be better spent on our Windows version.

TurtleSoft started Mac-only with Excel templates in 1987. The first prototype of our current stand-alone accounting app was in the early 90s. Since then, programming for Mac has gone through four primary programming languages (Pascal, C++, Objective C, Swift). Three, soon to be four chip architectures (680x0, PPC, Intel, ARM). Four frameworks (MacApp or Think Class Library, PowerPlant, Carbon, Cocoa).

Casey McDermott:

The plan was to subcontract the Cocoa conversion in parallel. We assumed there would be tons of experienced Carbon->Cocoa programmers so late in the game who could whip it out in a year or less. The bigger offshore subs would only touch it on an hourly basis, estimated $100K to $200K. One QT guy quoted $30K for both platforms, which was pretty much our maximum budget. He took the first draw payment then failed. 3 others tried pure Cocoa for a similar price, but got nowhere.

In 2015 we finished the 64-bit prep, and started work on Cocoa in-house. Based on past updates, 4 years seemed like plenty of time. Now, after 2 or 3 programmer-years, a realistic guess is another 2 or 3 needed to finish. Our app has a lot of interface code. Running a construction business is complicated. We do a lot more than QuickBooks.

Casey McDermott:

Yesterday I checked up on a few other companies we know who have Mac software in the AEC market. Most died off years ago. Two are now Windows-only. Three will have 64-bit apps “soon”. So far, nobody is ready for Catalina yet.


PSA: with macOS Catalina coming soon, you’re going to need a 64-bit TextWrangler. @bbedit is it. (Seriously: you’ll feel right at home.)

Tyshawn Cormier:

What I missed is with 32-bit support gone, iPhoto and Aperture no longer launch. That’s a little strange. System Information definitely reported both of those apps as 64-bit.

Howard Oakley:

If you need to retain access to key 32-bit apps, or anything else which won’t run in Catalina, a VM running Mojave or earlier is a highly practical solution, and very straightforward to set up using the latest Parallels Desktop 15.

My brother has had trouble even getting Aperture to work in a macOS 10.14 virtual machine. See also: Capture One.


Super disappointed in @OverDriveLibs decision to not create a 64 bit app so Mac users could listen to audiobooks with their existing app. Instead, their whole system silently fails and we have to dig around in help files to figure out wtf is up.

Joe Fabisevich:

Apple deprecating 32-bit support is completely reasonable but I can’t believe I’m going to have to run a VM to download library books now. Gotta have my library books.

Kyzrati (via Steve Troughton-Smith, Hacker News):

Clearly I was already on the fence about the whole Mac thing before, otherwise it might’ve happened earlier (I did spend a while researching and testing the potential for a solution on Macs, in preparation for a potential future public release), but Apple has time and again taken actions which are clearly hostile to developers as they continue the trend of building and reinforcing their own walled garden.

Among their latest moves, Apple’s newest OS drops support for 32-bit applications, which will unnecessarily render a huge library of software and games unusable on Macs, compared to Microsoft which does a great job of maintaining Windows backwards compatibility in that area even as most modern software tends to be 64-bit. This makes it far easier to hold together Cogmind’s existing tech so I can focus on things players actually care about, like more features.

Aspyr (Hacker News):

Any 32-bit Aspyr games not listed above will be incompatible with MacOS 10.15.


in a few days with the launch of the new 64 bit-only mac os, millions of games will no longer work, including my own. how are are other developers approaching this? will you remove your 32 bit games from Steam etc?

The Tape Drive (via Hacker News):

A bundle called IncompatibleAppsList.bundle found in /Library/Apple/Library/Bundles/ in macOS Catalina contains [a list] of 235 apps that are incompatible with Catalina. This list is used by the Catalina installation process to show the user a list of currently installed apps that are incompatible. Many of the apps listed are included only because older versions of the apps are incompatible as noted by the strings included with the bundle.


Update (2019-10-17): Rob Griffiths:

With the release of Catalina, though, we’ve decided to remove Witch 3 from the Mac App Store, effective today. Why? Because Witch 3 is 32-bit code, and it will not run in macOS Catalina. Unfortunately, the App Store will lie about this if you look at the Witch 3 listing in the Mac App Store[…] In addition, it’s been three years since we released Witch 4, which is a very generous “sunset period” for the prior release. Hence, it’s time for Witch 3 to retire from the Mac App Store.

Update (2019-10-21): Qdea:

Because Synchronize! Pro X is a 32-bit application, it is not supported by Apple on MacOS 10.15 Catalina and later operating systems. A 64-bit version of Synchronize! Pro X is not planned.

Update (2019-11-26): Fat Cat Software:

Unfortunately, the new Music app does not provide the necessary hooks for PowerTunes to be able to function with it the way it could with iTunes. Therefore, I’ve decided that I’ll be discontinuing development of PowerTunes.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Somebody should tell Apple that AppleGlot doesn’t install on Catalina, which makes their localization page and glossary downloads pretty useless 😛


Update (2019-11-27): Levelator is not making the transition to 64-bit and so won’t run on Catalina.

Update (2020-01-03): Apple3Forever:

Steam / Catalina 32-bit App-ocalypse notes:

I had roughly 1000 Mac games in my Steam library pre-Catalina.

Today, the number of runnable 64-bit Mac games sits at 278.

~72% of my Mac Steam library was killed off.

See also: SwiftOnSecurity.

Nathalie Lawhead:

Our idea of progress shouldn’t come coupled with destroying the past. This is counterproductive to the art movement in games because art requires an actual history. We can’t have that if we’re constantly losing work from the small devs that don’t make enough money to be important to large corporations like Apple.


Games aren’t a service. It’s like asking for a director to keep updating a movie, or for a musician to keep changing their song so it can keep running.

Matt Birchler:

I know this is more complicated than can be shared in a tweet, but preserving older software is important and these sorts of stats are brutal.

“Devs were told to update” works for active devs, but games built by studios that don’t exist anymore don’t have that option.

Unfortunately, I think the only solution for preserving history is emulation.

Sophie H:

Thread of LRT is absolutely right about Apple effectively expelling all smaller developers who create experimental work. My ability to cover a $100 fee annually has varied WILDLY and even tho I can justify it right now, there’s no fucking way I can justify notarising every project

Rosyna Keller:

I want to reiterate that on November 18th, CodeWeavers released the first beta of a Wine that can run 32-bit software (in bottles) on 64-bit-only macOS.

Update (2020-04-20): AccountEdge (tweet):

We are disappointed to share that we will not be able to offer a Catalina-compliant version of AccountEdge - now or in the future. In the end, AccountEdge’s 30-year-old codebase proved too outdated to establish compatibility with Apple’s newest operating system. In spite of a multi-year project that involved a team of developers and analysts, it’s a project we will not be able to complete.

19 Comments RSS · Twitter

Losing Aperture is a tough one for me. I'm tempted to just stay on Mojave, but I would like to be able to use the new Reminders features. It's also only a matter of time before third party apps start requiring Catalina as the minimum OS version.

The lack of interest in backwards compatibility is one of the things that really irks me about Apple and the Mac community.

I've relied on MPEG Streamclip quite a bit to losslessly trim video files. Lately though — especially on Mojave — it's been less reliable, and is incompatible with Catalina. I ended up choosing Videoloupe ($25) to provide similar functions.

Another related app that's not compatible: JES Deinterlacer. Was great for deinterlacing old DV footage. Handbrake has a similar feature now but I haven't used it enough to see if it is of similar quality (plus it requires re-encoding).

The bundled software for my not-inexpensive Canon scanner (purchased new in 2013) is 32-bit and incompatible as well... will have to rely on the sometimes-unreliable Image Capture from now on.

"The lack of interest in backwards compatibility is one of the things that really irks me about Apple and the Mac community."

Backward compatibility is not a thing of the Mac community, it's a heritage of the iOS community.

I meant "the lack of interest in…"

For netnewswire 3 I resolve in this way (I'm waiting for version 5.1 and old vertical feed layout…):
- copy from mojave the framework /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/PubSub.framework to the Desktop
- reboot on recovery mode. If the disk is encrypted open utility disk and activate the Macintosh HD.
- open terminal and execute:
$ cp -av /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/_username_/Desktop/PubSub.framework /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/
$ chown -R root:wheel /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/PubSub.framework
$ cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/System/Library/Frameworks
$ ln -s ../PrivateFrameworks/PubSub.framework PubSub.framework
- restart and now newnewswire works!

My ScanSnap S1500M is running like a champ with VueScan. Don’t buy a new scanner just for 64 bit.

@Randall McRoberts - Does VueScan do OCR as well as the Fujitsu bundled software?

Chris Campbell

I bought both VueScan and ExactScan Pro to use with my ScanSnap S1500M and both of them worked, but I vastly prefer the ExactScan Pro UI. Much nicer app. I wish I could get my money back for VueScan, but it's not due to an incompatiblity, so I don't think it'll happen. (I should have actually used it as a trial before paying for it, but I'm quick to pay for software that I expect to use.) ExactScan has a nifty checkbox that will cause the scanner to start scanning as soon as I put the paper into the ScanSnap. ExactScan Pro has OCR, but I don't use it (and I didn't use the Fujitsu OCR) because the PDFs are imported directly into DEVONthink 3, which does its own OCR. Working great!

Chris Campbell

@sbarex, you can just put PubSub.framework (from Mojave) in /Library/Frameworks and the linker will find it there automatically after it can't find it in the normal spot. Then you don't have to modify anything in /System or reboot in recovery mode.

Or you can put it inside the NetNewsWire app itself (NetNewsWire.app/Contents/Frameworks) and change the using install_name_tool:

install_name_tool -change "/System/Library/Frameworks/PubSub.framework/Versions/A/PubSub" "@loader_path/../Frameworks/PubSub.framework/Versions/A/PubSub" "path/to/NetNewsWire.app/Contents/MacOS/NetNewsWire"

Chris, thanks for the tips! I didn't know install_name_tool.

Fujitsu: “If you wish to have the 64 bit application for macOS, please consider purchasing ScanSnap products that are currently available on the market”

Fat chance I'm going to buy a new scanner from a company that abandons their hardware “because their support periods have already expired”.

If they want to abandon their hardware, they should at least publish the spec for it so other people can properly write code to support it, otherwise it is just a disgraceful waste.

@Liam, yes VueScan does OCR, although I generally do my OCR in Devonthink Pro.

"Because Synchronize! Pro X is a 32-bit application, it is not supported by Apple on MacOS 10.15 Catalina and later operating systems. A 64-bit version of Synchronize! Pro X is not planned."

Seems the quote got mangled in posting it here. Should be:
"Because Synchronize! Pro X is a 32-bit application, we are going to blame Apple for us not developing a 64-bit version. A 64-bit version of Synchronize! Pro X is not planned because… reasons."

@Anonymous: Reasons could well be bad business. If it's a non-trivial task to develop a 64-bit version then somebody has to pay for it. Maybe they think the return on that investment wont be enough to pay for it.

It didn't come as a surprise since they announced it long ago, but the end it is Apple who decided to remove the support for 32 bit. You could argue that it is a good or bad decision for the platform and their users. But they didn't have to do it.

(For me it means throwing away a perfectly fine scanner, old and unsupported, but still worked as long as 32 bit software could run. Things like that happens eventually, threw away a perfectly fine scanner ages ago because it was SCSI and the world moved on.)

Wine apparently doesn't work in Catalina either, which is a bummer because a lot of tools I use in vintage game console/computer development are Windows-only. (and work with Wine) I happen to have a Windows laptop I can use but it's a bummer to set it up every time I need to do some five-minute task that previously worked just fine in macOS.

Sören Nils Kuklau

There will be a 64-bit Wine build eventually, but that won't help you run 32-bit Windows apps, which vintage stuff would typically be. Your better bet for vintage might be DOSBox anyway. For something newer than that, possibly running it in VirtualBox.

Lanny Heidbreder

Steam's idea of which Mac games are 64-bit errs on the side of doom and gloom. I have a few games with the dreaded 🚫 symbol that install and run just fine.

Don't forget good old MS Office. If you have 2011, you are SOL. You have to buy a new version. You have to be running Office 365 to be able to continue running Office without buying a new version. Office 2016 is on the cusp. In theory, you should be able to log in to the MyAccount site to do the new install. But some people have reported problems, ie they don't know what email account they used to do the intitial install.

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