Apple might stop supporting 32-bit applications altogether once iOS 11 is launched. The company is expected to launch iOS11 later this year, and with that, it’s believed that many legacy functions running on 32-bit will no longer be available.
Apple ending support for 32-bit
Citing prominent developer Steven Troughton-Smith, 9to5Mac says, “Starting with iOS 10.3, Apple has started alerting users when they open a 32-bit app on iOS. The pop-up notification reads that the app must be updated by the developer or else it may not work with future versions of iOS.”
Furthermore, Smith notes that future processors from Apple may not include 32-bit support, a move that could free up performance/die space for users and developers.
“Update legacy apps now if you want them to survive past September,” the developer tweeted.
The words from the developer do not come as a surprise, as the latest version (iOS 10.3, released just last month) has menu items which list all the installed apps not supported by 64-bit mode. It also displays this warning: “The apps may slow down your iPhone and will not work with future version of iOS if they are not updated.”
The Cupertino-based company started supporting 64-bit applications when it launched the iPhone 5S in September 2013. The company has been asking developers to present their new apps with 64-bit support since February 2015 and app updates since June 2015.
SensorTower believes that in the process, around 187,000 of the approximately 2.4 million apps in the App Store will become obsolete. The rumor of the iPhone 5 getting scrapped is already doing the rounds. When it comes to architecture, both 32-bit and 64-bit smartphones are different. While older iPhones come with a 32-bit processor, the newer ones have 64-bit processors.
How the change affects you
Such moves are likely part of Apple’s effort to do away with every “problematic and abandoned app” from the App Store to better the quality. Those using older devices will likely have issues upgrading to the next version of iOS. This is not surprising because Apple has been withdrawing support for older computers and devices in its new operating systems, according to Macworld.
Apple started cracking down on 32-bit with the launch of iOS9, telling users that 32-bit apps might put the brakes on their device performance. With the launch of iOS 10, the company started pushing the warning messages more aggressively, notes 9To5Mac.
The impact of withdrawing support for 32-bit apps will not be reflected significantly on the end user, but rather, on developers, who will have to make sure that their apps are updated before support is completely withdrawn, notes 9To5Mac.
Those using 32-bit apps on newer devices will need to upgrade to the newest version in order to keep using them. According to Macworld, some developers who have released 64-bit apps are offering users an option to purchase the app instead of upgrading from the 32-bit one.