Over 187,000 apps could become obsolete with Apple's 64-bit only 'iOS 11'

Posted:
in iPhone
Some 187,000 apps could be rendered useless with the launch of "iOS 11," according to an app analytics firm, assuming the anticipated update is when Apple plans to kill 32-bit support.




The number represents about 8 percent of all titles on the App Store, Sensor Tower said. The real-world figure could potentially be much higher though, as the firm's numbers are based on apps that were submitted prior to the Sept. 2013 launch of the iPhone 5s and haven't been updated since.

The iPhone 5s was the first iOS device to include a 64-bit processor, but it was only in Feb. 2015 that Apple required new apps to offer 64-bit support. For updates to existing apps, the cutoff was a few months later in June.




With the first iOS 10.3 beta, Apple inserted a message warning that 32-bit apps "will not work with future versions of iOS." Previously iOS only cautioned that 32-bit apps might slow down a device.

"iOS 11" would be a logical cutoff point. The finished 10.3 update has yet to be released, and Apple is expected to reveal iOS 11 during its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Many apps could be potentially be removed from the App Store by the time "iOS 11" launches later in the year. Recently the company engaged in a purge of broken or outdated apps, and indeed Sensor Tower noted that 47,300 apps vanished in October alone.

iOS 10.3 will bring in a number of changes, including the switch to a new filesystem, APFS, and the addition of a Find My AirPods app. It will also incorporate an official Reviews API, which may reduce the tendency of apps to ask for ratings.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    There's a number of apps I would repurchase without hesitation, if that's what it would take to keep them relevant.  In fact, the original prices were quite a bargain to begin with.
    davenStrangeDaysargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member
    That'll surely be unfortunate for users in certain scenarios, but overall I'm glad to see Apple draw a line in the sand so that they keep moving forward. I think 4 years is a more than reasonable lead time.
    edited March 2017 aaronjcaliwatto_cobraproline
  • Reply 3 of 31
    pakittpakitt Posts: 141member
    Just about time. 64 bit processors and tools have been available for years to developers. It is probably also a good way to remove a lot of fake or useless apps. Question is though - if I have an iPhone 5 which was working with iOS10 - if iOS11 doesn't support it, will 32bit versions of the apps still be available to those users in the App Store?
    zroger73
  • Reply 4 of 31
    I'll miss Infinity Blade I and II...
    ai46
  • Reply 5 of 31
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,292member
    Good.  Clear out at least some of the junk.   There's nothing Apple can do about it unless they want to curate the store, but there's way too many apps making it near impossible to find what you're looking for unless you want a specific app by name.     Sometimes, less is more (for both users and developers).  
    JinTechbaconstangcali
  • Reply 6 of 31
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,692member
    Many of those apps now function like shit on a recent 64 bit Iphone so They likely would work worse and worse even with Apple doing nothing.


    lostkiwi
  • Reply 7 of 31
    This is a good move by Apple.  Developers have a responsibility to keep apps relevant with current technologies.
    lostkiwiwatto_cobraMetriacanthosaurus
  • Reply 8 of 31
    Good...Apple should figure out a "change" every year to get app developers to either stay current or get dropped off! :)

    edited March 2017 techprod1gy
  • Reply 9 of 31
    I would really like to see Apple implement some policies that require developers to invest in the apps they publish.  This would bring more credibility to the store and hopefully raise the bar on the average offering.  To many quick hitting publish crap, get a few bucks and call it good out there...
    caliMetriacanthosaurus
  • Reply 10 of 31
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I bet most of these are old crap abandoned apps.

    There's a number of apps I would repurchase without hesitation, if that's what it would take to keep them relevant.  In fact, the original prices were quite a bargain to begin with.




    Solilostkiwijbdragonpscooter63SpamSandwichmpschaeferMacProMetriacanthosaurus
  • Reply 11 of 31
    anomeanome Posts: 995member
    Soli said:
    That'll surely be unfortunate for users in certain scenarios, but overall I'm glad to see Apple draw a line in the sand so that they keep moving forward. I think 4 years is a more than reasonable lead time.

    When we first rolled out Windows 95 (yes, you heard me correctly) in our organisation, a lot of talk was about how we would need to retire certain applications as they were end of life, and we needed to move forward, with a potential end-goal of 32-bit compliance. This was going to include redeveloping some internal systems that used old 16-bit apps for some parts of their processing. So it was decided to sunset the specific applications on a set date.

    Except our developers couldn't get it done on time, and so a special exemption was given for the two 16-bit apps that were still needed.

    Cut to 6 years later, and we're rolling out XP. This time, definitely for sure, we need everyone to get rid of the 16-bit app dependencies. Our developers came back with "You can't do that, you haven't given us enough notice."

    6 fecking years.

    My point is that it doesn't matter how much warning you give people, some of them are just not going to do the work, and you are going to cop the blame for breaking things. Even when, in most cases, it's just a matter of the developer recompiling with the 64-bit only setting. (Ironically, I expect most of the really big apps that need to be re-engineered to some extent will probably get done fairly quickly, since it's in the developers' interests.)

    I hope they do go 64-bit only in iOS11. It will be an excuse to get rid of a heap of old apps that aren't being supported. Just wait for the plaintive wailing from some sections of the community.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,747member
    I say this is a good way to clear out all the crap that hasn't been supported in quite some time. It would be good if Apple did this like every 5 years or so, clear out Apps that haven't had a update in 5 years.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,747member
    cali said:
    I bet most of these are old crap abandoned apps.

    There's a number of apps I would repurchase without hesitation, if that's what it would take to keep them relevant.  In fact, the original prices were quite a bargain to begin with.




    I'd pay the 99 cents or $1.99 just to not have a annoying ad bar in the app. I really HATE so called Freemium App's that are far from free and in fact can cost far more then a normal app price. I think Apple helped create that market for not having or allowing DEMO app's where you can try before you buy. I in general try to avoid downloading a freemium app. It might be a fun/great game, but I'm not paying over and over again for gold coins or diamonds or whatever it is to buy things to get anywhere in the game. No thanks.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    macguimacgui Posts: 772member
    zoetmb said: but there's way too many apps making it near impossible to find what you're looking for unless you want a specific app by name.
    Oh please. Apple's 'search' function is horrible. Sometimes even having the exact name means wading through a lot of apps to find your specific one.  

    Apple allows devs to pay to get their app at the top of your search. Ok, I can tolerate that. But even without an ad at the top, it's almost rare to find an app I searched for at the top of the lineup.


    Good...Apple should figure out a "change" every year to get app developers to either stay current or get dropped off! :)

    Not the worst idea I've ever seen offered here but definitely at that end of the spectrum. A clusterfuck in the making.


    cali said:
    I bet most of these are old crap abandoned apps.
    Agreed. And many of those are probably from less than scrupulous devs who took the money and dusted their broom.

    To be fair Apple has more than their fair share of users who think $1.99 or more is far, far too much to pay for any app, no matter how nice, complicated, or feature rich it may be.

    A lot of my apps have already been updated to 64-bit at no charge. Some I'd buy again if need be; other will fall prey to a clean sweep.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    Looks like I'll be the only one but I'm still going to disagree. IMHO if Apple really does this, it's going to be one of their dumbest moves ever.

    1. My kids are still using lots of educational apps that I know are never going to be updated to 64 bit and they still work just fine on their iPads
    2. I have yet to see the true benefit of 64 bit mobile apps and at least one solid reason why 32 bit apps can no longer be supported
    3. Many apps got pulled from the App Store in the meantime for no apparent reason, apps that worked just fine until Apple implemented that super annoying "this app may slow down your xyz" message. The irony? Many of them happily live on in the google play store and, again, work just fine on most android devices.
    4. Microsoft had many opportunities to kill 32 bit apps on their desktop OS but they never did it. Why do we need to kill them on a mobile OS?
    5. As a result of such move Apple may witness the slowest ever adoption of iOS 11, so they better find some other cool stats for their keynotes
  • Reply 16 of 31
    There's a fun game I play every other week.  Sorry to see it go. Oh, well.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member
    pepe779 said:
    Looks like I'll be the only one but I'm still going to disagree. IMHO if Apple really does this, it's going to be one of their dumbest moves ever.

    1. My kids are still using lots of educational apps that I know are never going to be updated to 64 bit and they still work just fine on their iPads
    2. I have yet to see the true benefit of 64 bit mobile apps and at least one solid reason why 32 bit apps can no longer be supported
    3. Many apps got pulled from the App Store in the meantime for no apparent reason, apps that worked just fine until Apple implemented that super annoying "this app may slow down your xyz" message. The irony? Many of them happily live on in the google play store and, again, work just fine on most android devices.
    4. Microsoft had many opportunities to kill 32 bit apps on their desktop OS but they never did it. Why do we need to kill them on a mobile OS?
    5. As a result of such move Apple may witness the slowest ever adoption of iOS 11, so they better find some other cool stats for their keynotes
    I don't think MS' archaic spaghetti code that has to conform to the lowest common denominator is the best argument against Apple finally dropping 32-bit app support many years after 64-bit was introduced.

    Keep in mind, this same argument happened with at least 8-bit and 16-bit programs, yet today no one seems to complaining about those long forgotten issues.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 31
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,347member
    Will have to keep at least one iPad that I will no longer update. I have several abandonware apps that will never see updates because they were sold off to app-collecting companies who have completely failed to invest further in the apps they've acquired.
    edited March 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    r00fus1r00fus1 Posts: 65member
    So when is Apple going to revoke the cert? I mean that's why code signing is a requirement, right?
    There's a number of apps I would repurchase without hesitation, if that's what it would take to keep them relevant.  In fact, the original prices were quite a bargain to begin with.
    There are some apps that are abandonware that I still use and have no replacement (e.g. SF IV Volt). I'm not quite sold on this move. Guess I'll have to keep one of my devices stuck on iOS 10.
  • Reply 20 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member
    r00fus1 said:
    So when is Apple going to revoke the cert? I mean that's why code signing is a requirement, right?
    Unless it's a danger to the user, I don't think Apple will use their remote kill switch. I think it comes down to no longer being in the store as the first step, and if you update to iOS 11 it won't work, as the second step.
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