As Apple prepares to release its upcoming iOS 10.3 update within the next few weeks, tech experts who have already received a beta have noted that the upcoming the iOS 11 will likely render about 187,000 apps obsolete.
“The latest iOS 10 beta, iOS 10.3, has a pop-up that informs users using old apps that ‘this app will not work with future versions of iOS,’” reports BGR.
By “old apps”, Apple is referring to apps which still only use a 32-bit processor. Apple has encouraged developers since 2015 to update to a 64-bit processor, but encouragement seems to have given way to a blunt ultimatum. It is possible that when iOS is released later this year, Apple will delete these obsolete apps from its App Store.
Necessary Security or Unnecessary move?
Apple is no stranger to deleting thousands of apps, as it routinely deletes over 10,000 apps per month and launched a November purge which removed over 47,000 apps. But with over 2 million apps on the Apple’s App store, a purge of this size would mean that Apple would lose nearly 10 percent of all of its apps.
However, the likelihood of users taking notice is slim, as all major apps such as Facebook, Twitter, or Uber already are on a 64-bit processor. Apple has given these apps two years to update, which they should have done already. But the challenge which some Apple users will face is that as Joel Shore points out, the largest category of apps still on a 32-bit processor are games. Shore states that 39,000 of the old apps are games, followed by 20,000 educational apps.
When one considers how many gaming apps are a little more than a beginner coder’s weekend project, this is hardly a surprise. But some games like Peggle Classic, which last updated in July 2014, still have a substantial player base even though they have not updated in years. Fans will face the choice of abandoning those games or apps which do not update or risking their phone’s security by refusing to update to the iOS 11. At the same time, developers will have to figure out whether to spend resources updating a game which they may view as finished or let Apple delete it.
While there will be some casualties from Apple’s decision, the vast majority of apps which still only use a 32-bit processor will not be missed. Furthermore, Apple is giving those obsolete app’s developers plenty of time to update. The iOS 10.3, which had the aforementioned pop-up notifying of this app apocalypse, will not be released for another few weeks and the iOS 11 will probably be released in the fall.
In the nearer future, Apple users should have plenty to tide them over with the upcoming 10.3 update. The update promises new features such as an improved iCloud storage system as well as better frame rates and keyboards. iOS 11 in the future could see updates to Siri, an improved encryption system, and better camera and video modes.
Read more about Apple updates at Tech.Co