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It’s long been rumored that iOS 11 will cut off support for 32-bit apps and devices, but yesterday we received the official confirmation that Apple’s latest operating system won’t support 32-bit applications, and will not be downloadable on 32-bit devices.
In previous versions of iOS, opening 32-bit apps would simply prompt a warning message that the app in question might slow down an iOS device, or will stop working “in a future version of iOS.” That warning has finally come true: in the newest iOS, 32-bit apps will simply refuse to open, according to those who have downloaded preview copies of the newest operating system.
As with the older pop-up windows, there’s still an option to “Learn More” and contact the developer of an app. Additionally, 32-bit apps no longer show up in App Store searches, and users won’t be able to download previously purchased or installed 32-bit apps via the Purchased tab.
Apple also confirmed in a press release which devices would be receiving the free upgrade in the fall — and essentially, the list is limited to devices with a 64-bit chip installed. Those devices include:
- iPhone 5s and newer
- All iPad Air and iPad Pro models
- iPad 5th generation and newer
- iPad mini 2 and newer
- iPod 6th generation and newer
Essentially, older devices — such as the iPhone 5 or 5c — will not be able to download the newest iOS update. While this won’t automatically render older devices obsolete, they’ll likely be left behind completely as far as app updates go. There are serious security considerations to take into account, too, as Apple frequently squashes bugs and risky security vulnerabilities in incremental iOS updates. For current iOS 10 users, you can check for and manage 32-bit apps installed on your phone by following the steps listed here.