Apple's 64-bit A7 chip making big improvements to audio and video in apps

Today in Apple: The 64-bit A7 chip improves games and apps. Plus: iPhone 5s and 5C top carrier sales charts, and OS X Mavericks golden master released to developers

By , ITworld |  Mobile & Wireless, a7, Apple

Apple's 64-bit A7 Chip and App Improvements
There's been quite a lot of doubt and ignorance in the media about Apple's powerful 64-bit A7 chip. Apple Insider shows how it is already causing big improvements in audio and video in apps and games.

The debut of Apple's new 64-bit A7 Application Processor has been assailed by more than one industry figure insisting that the new chip isn't anything special, but a series of iOS developers are reporting huge performance gains and already using the new chip to accomplish "desktop class" tasks that were not previously possible on a mobile device.

On the iPhone 5s, the new 64-bit architecture of the A7 provides immediate benefits to developers thanks to its "modern instruction set," known as ARMv8, which among other features accelerates AES encryption. And because Apple manages both the development of the A7 chip and the compilers and development tools within Xcode, developers can take full advantage of new hardware and instruction set efficiencies "for free" when they recompile their apps to run on the A7.

The A7 isn't just faster than the previous A6; it's faster without requiring the additional cores and ramped up clock speeds of competing chips like Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa. That contributes to faster performance in a lighter, smaller device because it doesn't have to pack a larger battery to power a hot, high-revving brain that rapidly drains the battery.

Apple A7 Chart
Image credit: Apple Insider

Apple A7 Benchmarks
Image credit: Apple Insider

More at Apple Insider

There's far more in the article than what I've included here. Be sure to click through and take it all in. It's clear that the 64-bit A7 is much, much more than what it has been portrayed as by some media outlets.

The comments by the makers of Infinity Blade 3 are particularly interesting. I'd no idea that the 64-bit A7 was already making that much of a difference in the experience of gamers. It sounds like it's providing a huge upgrade from the A6 found in the iPhone 5.

I have a friend who jumped from a perfectly good iPhone 5 to an iPhone 5S. After reading the article at Apple Insider, I can understand some of the reasons why he decided to upgrade. So far he's very happy with his iPhone 5S, and I imagine most other upgraders probably are too.

iPhone 5S and 5C Top Sales Charts at US Carriers
The iPhone 5S and 5C are riding high on the sales charts at four US carriers, according to Apple Insider.

Apple's new flagship iPhone 5s and mid-range iPhone 5c were both among the top three sellers for the big four United States wireless carriers in September, investment bank Canaccord Genuity said Friday. The Touch ID-enabled iPhone 5s and new, colorful iPhone 5c took first and second place, respectively, for AT&T and Sprint but the iPhone 5c was pushed down one notch by Samsung's Galaxy S4 at Verizon and T-Mobile retailers.

The new iPhones vaulted Apple back atop the leader board as the top-selling smartphone vendor in the United States in September, a position held by Samsung for the preceding three months. Helping the company along were reportedly healthy sales of the three-year-old iPhone 4S, which customers can get for free on a two-year contract.

More at Apple Insider

If you read the first article that I covered, it's no surprise why the iPhone 5S is selling so much. Some analysts and technology journalists might not understand the appeal of the iPhone 5S (or even the 5C) but consumers sure do, and they want them.

OS X Mavericks Golden Master Released
Mac Rumors is reporting that the golden master of OS X Mavericks has been released to developers. This is the version that will be released to consumers later this month.

Following today's release of OS X Mavericks Build 13A598 for members of the company's AppleSeed testing program, Apple has now posted the build for all registered Mac developers, referring to it as the "GM" (Golden Master) version that will be released to the public.

Apple has also seeded the GM build of Xcode 5.0.1 for building applications for Mavericks.

OS X Mavericks Golden Master
Image credit: Mac Rumors

More at Mac Rumors

I'm happy to see that OS X Mavericks is almost ready for release. I'm looking forward to checking it out when it is available. I played with an early beta, and liked it. But it's always better when all the bugs have been worked out in the final release.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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