Apple Likely To Drop 32-Bit App Support In iOS 11

A new alert dialog discovered in the latest iOS 10.3 beta appears to suggest that Apple is finally looking to drop support for 32-bit apps with iOS 11.

The new popup has been designed to inform the user that the app they are trying to invoke will soon no longer be supported with future versions of iOS, and that the developer of the app will need to update it to improve compatibility. This instantly leads us to believe that iOS 11 could only support apps that have been updated for 64-bit devices.

Apple first introduced support for 64-bit apps via the App Store with the introduction of iPhone 5s back in September 2013. The changing of the internal architecture of that device also meant that Apple allowed developers to package and compile apps with a 64-bit slice in the binary to be submitted to the App Store for approval, and for ultimate release and sale to consumers. A lot of developers have taken advantage of that and updated their apps, whereas others haven’t and have left apps to stagnate.

In order to try and force the hand of developers, Apple has required iPhone and iPad app developers to pack 64-bit support with all new apps submitted to the App Store since February 2015.

That same 64-bit support has also been required for existing apps with app updates submitted by developers since June of the same year, which basically means that by the time iOS 11 is released to the public, those developers would have been given more than two years to update their apps to fulfill the new guidelines.

This discovered dialog seems to suggest that anyone running iOS 11 won’t be able to run apps that haven’t been updated with 64-bit support. The information dialog baked into the iOS 10.3 beta doesn’t necessarily give intricate information to users, other than telling them that the app that they are using will cease to function in its current form on new versions of iOS.

“[App Name]” Needs to Be Updated

This app will not work with future versions of iOS. The developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility.

It’s currently unclear if Apple will be, or has begun to, proactively email or inform developers that their apps are in danger of not functioning on iOS 11 and beyond unless they are updated.

(Source: @steipete [Twitter])

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