iOS 11 Could Drop Support For 32-Bit Apps, Hints iOS 10.3 Beta

Finally, Apple might be planning to drop support for the legacy 32-bit apps. Since the iOS 9, the company has warned users when launching 32-bit apps that they may slow down the performance of the device. With the iOS 10.3 beta that was pushed out to developers last week, the company now warns users that 32-bit apps “will not work with the future versions of iOS.” The upcoming iOS 11 could be Apple’s first mobile operating system to support only 64-bit apps.

Developers need to update their 32-bit apps

The error message in iOS 10.3 beta was discovered by developer Peter Steinberger when launching a 32-bit app in iOS 10.3 beta 1. It further adds that the given app’s developer needs to update it to “improve its compatibility.” The Cupertino company has been supporting 64-bit apps since the release of the iPhone 5S in 2013. Since February 2015, Apple has required developers to submit all new apps with 64-bit support. That policy was further extended to app updates in June 2015.

The iOS 10.3 is the last major update to Apple’s mobile operating system before the iOS 11 arrives. The legacy 32-bit apps in the App Store are still supported, but Apple is unlikely to drop support with the iOS 10.3. That’s because the tech giant traditionally keeps compatibility-breaking changes for annual upgrades, points out Apple Insider.

Will iOS 11 support only 64-bit devices?

The iOS 11 is expected to be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June this year. The operating system would be rolled out to the public with the launch of highly-anticipated iPhone 8 in September. Rumors indicate that the iOS 11 would bring a new Dark Mode, Siri improvements, and support for virtual reality. The iOS devices with 64-bit chip include the iPad Air and later, iPad mini 2 and newer, sixth-generation iPod Touch, and the iPhone 5S and later.

The switch to 64-bit only devices would end support for all 32-bit devices such as the iPhone 5, 5C, and the fourth-gen iPad. There are still a large number of 32-bit apps in the App Store that have not been updated for a long time. Apple announced in September that it would weed out the ‘problematic and abandoned apps’ from the App Store to focus on app quality rather than quantity. The company is said to have removed more than 50,000 apps since then.

iOS 10.3 beta switches to a new file system

The iOS 10.3 beta 1 includes a new file system APFS with native encryption that will replace the HFS+ file system. It also introduces a new API that will allow app developers to seek review from customers within the app. Developers will also be able to reply to user reviews in the App Store. It has a new feature called Find My AirPods that will allow users to locate their tiny and expensive AirPods.

The iOS 10.3 is also going big on cricket. The beta version gives Siri the ability to show you live scores from the Indian Premiere League (IPL) and International Cricket Council (ICC) cricket matches.



About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Although he has a background in finance and holds an MBA, Vikas Shukla is a technology reporter. He has a strong interest in gadgets, gizmos, and science. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com