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We’ve been hearing a lot about the end of 32-bit app support in iOS, but today, we might have a clearer picture of when Apple will make the move to 64-bit.
Steven Troughton-Smith, a prominent app developer, tweeted on Monday that he’s hearing “very clearly” that Apple will totally cut off 32-bit app support in iOS 11. Additionally, he urged developers to “update legacy apps now” if they wanted those apps to survive past September.
Devs: I’m hearing very clearly iOS 11 won’t have 32bit app support at all. Update legacy apps now if you want them to survive past September
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) April 8, 2017
The exact source of his information is currently unknown, but his prediction does line up with Apple’s recent crackdown on 32-bit apps. While opening 32-bit apps have prompted warning messages since iOS 9, in recent iOS versions, Apple has tweaked that pop-up message to sound more severe. In the first iOS 10.3 beta, for example, Apple updated it to read that the app in question won’t work at all with “future versions of iOS.”
On the hardware side, Troughton-Smith also said that it’s sounding like Apple’s future A-series chipsets will drop 32-bit support entirely. That move could potentially free up performance/die space for both iOS users and app developers. Apple first introduced 64-bit support with the iPhone 5s, which makes the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c the company’s last 32-bit-only devices. Apple flagships since the iPhone 5s have still retained 32-bit support, but that might not be the case for future iPhones.
It seems that this gradual phasing-out of 32-bit apps also coincides with a larger effort to clean up the App Store by removing “problematic and abandoned apps” from the platform. Apple first announced this objective in September 2016 — and by October, the company said that it had removed around 50,000 of these apps from the App Store. Additionally, Apple has required new apps to include 64-bit support since February 2015 and app updates since June of the same year.
Apple is largely expected to unveil iOS 11 at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]