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iOS 11 might kill your favorite old iPhone apps

Published Apr 10th, 2017 1:20PM EDT
iOS 11 Rumors
Image: Niels Epting

When iOS 11 drops later this fall, you can kiss all of your favorite 32-bit apps goodbye. Sure, we knew that Apple was going to drop support for 32-bit apps eventually, but noted developer Steven Troughton-Smith over the weekend seemed to confirm that Apple is about to make the App Store a tad more breathable later this year.

In a pair of tweets sent over the weekend, Throughton-Smith relays that he’s heard rumblings that upcoming A-x chips won’t even offer support for 32-bit apps.

Apple first transitioned to a 64-bit processor with the A7 on the iPhone 5s and now appears poised to kick 32-bit apps off of the App Store completely. This of course shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as Apple has been gently nudging developers to update older apps for years now.

In late 2014, for example, Apple began alerting developers that updates to existing iOS apps after June 1, 2015 had to include 64-bit support. This past January, with the first beta release of iOS 10.3, Apple began issuing a stark warning to users who fired up old 32-bit apps, alerting them that such apps “will not work with future versions of iOS” and that the app developer “needs to update it to improve its compatibility.”

The demise of 32-bit app support on iOS has long been an inevitability, and now it appears that iOS 11 will finally offer up the final nail in the coffin. While this won’t impact most users, it may frustrate some folks who happen to enjoy or rely upon old apps that haven’t been updated in years. Alas, there is a price to be paid for forward progress. Either that or users can simply keep on using iOS 10 for years on end.

It’s been estimated that there are currently 187,000 32-bit apps on the App Store. Come September of 2017, there’s good reason to believe they’ll be toast.

32-bit apps aside, some of the features iOS 11 will introduce include a completely revamped version of Siri, a long overdue Dark Mode, advanced augmented reality features (bolstered of course by 3D cameras on the iPhone 8), facial recognition, and support for multi-user FaceTime calls.

With WWDC 2017 now less than two months away, we’ll hopefully start hearing some more tidbits about iOS 11 in the coming weeks.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.