PSA: Do not release ARMv7s code until you have tested it

If you are using a third-party SDK in your iOS app, you may encounter a problem when linking with the current Xcode release: in that case the linker errors with the following line in the build log:

ld: file is universal (2 slices) but does not contain a(n) armv7s slice: libexample.a for architecture armv7s

(with some libraries, the linker will instead output the following when it errors, but it’s the same general problem:)

ld: warning: ignoring file libexample.a, file was built for archive which is not the architecture being linked (armv7s): libexample.a
Undefined symbols for architecture armv7s:

One solution for this issue is to get an updated version of the SDK that has a library with an ARMv7s slice (provided such an update exists, of course, otherwise you have no choice but to apply the second solution). However you should do so only if you have an iPhone 5 to test on; otherwise, I strongly recommend you apply the second solution: go to your project settings, (or target settings, if they are overridden at the target level), and edit the Architectures setting from “armv7 armv7s” to just “armv7”.

Why? Well, only the iPhone 5 can run the variant of your app code (called a slice) compiled for ARMv7s, so if you build and eventually release an update to your app that includes ARMv7s support, you would be releasing code you have not tested yourself, which is a big no-no. Don’t do it. In fact even if you can test on an iPhone 5, there is likely no need to rush and add ARMv7s support in your app as the benefits are incremental at best, as far as I can tell (but do not take my word for it, measure!); I really can’t understand why Apple added ARMv7s support in such a way that existing projects start using it right away by default.

Look forward to a post detailing the benefits (if any) to adding an ARMv7s slice to your app, as well as updates to my existing posts, in the coming weeks.

This post was initially published with somewhat different contents as at the time the iPhone 5 was not actually available. In the interest of historical preservation, the original content has been moved here.

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