iOS 11 Will Purge Over 200,000 Apps, Report Suggests

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While Apple’s next major installment of iOS won’t officially be unveiled for another few months, a new analysis that was issued recently has suggested that the company’s ‘iOS 11’ update could end support for hundreds of thousands of apps that are currently available to users on the App Store.

To be more specific, data collected through a survey that was recently conducted by app analytics firm, Sensor Tower, suggests that Apple’s next major installment of iOS could potentially result in the decimation of nearly 187,000 apps. However, the actual number of doomed titles could ultimately reach much higher than that, the firm suggests.

That’s because there is a strong possibility that Cupertino will kill off support for 32-bit only apps when it releases iOS 11 later on this fall. The suggestion that this could even happen was first revealed by a pop-up message that began appearing to developers and beta testers in the early stages of iOS 10.3 beta — a message, as you can see, that clearly states how 32-bit applications “will not work with future versions of iOS.”

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According to Sensor Tower’s findings, as many as 8% — or approximately 187,000 — of currently-available apps fall into the 32-bit category; and, although that number may seem almost insurmountable, it only takes into consideration apps that were uploaded to the App Store prior to September, 2013 — and only those that have not been updated since then. So the actual number of apps that are exclusively 32-bit could ultimately be much greater than Sensor Tower’s analysis is speculating.

Apple first introduced support for 64-bit ‘desktop quality’ apps when it unveiled its A7 chip — a first-generation, 64-bit SoC initially powering the company’s iPhone 5s, which was released in September 2013, as well as the original iPad Air, which was released in November of that year. However, while all iOS devices following those have boasted native support for 64-bit apps, the company didn’t actually start demanding 64-bit support from developers until February of 2015, according to AppleInsider.

To be sure, Apple has already begun the process of purging “broken or outdated apps,” and has axed as many as 47,300 of them since last October. And so, needless to say, many other apps could be cut from the company’s vast registry even long before iOS 11 is shown off at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

It’s not absolutely guaranteed, of course, that Apple will simply “flip the switch” and, poof, a quarter-million apps or so will go missing overnight. But we’ll have to just wait and see exactly what the company is planning when it shows off iOS 11 at WWDC this summer.

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