iPhone and iPad owners, are you excited yet? With the official release of iOS 11 looming around in the next few weeks, there is a myriad of new improvements and tweaks here and there we can't wait to try out.
There are the new iMessage features, smarter Siri with translation support, new Camera and Photo effects and filters, redesigned Control Center and lock screen, improved Apple Maps, new Do Not Disturb Mode, HomeKit 2, a redesigned App Store and even a quick way to make an emergency SOS call.
However, there's also this one major behind-the-scenes overhaul in iOS 11 that can potentially kill off some of your favorite apps. And unfortunately, there is not much you can do about it.
iOS 11 will shift to a 64-bit environment
One big change with iOS 11 that you ought to know is its move to a pure 64-bit environment, marking the end of 32-bit app support. This switch will inevitably kill off more than 180,000 apps that are still coded for the 32-bit environment. Yep, about 8 percent of all apps currently in the Apple App Store can be potentially killed off!
Actually, Apple has been slowly transitioning app developers to update their apps to make them 64-bit compatible. You may have seen the "may slow down your iPhone" warning on certain apps, urging developers to "improve compatibility." Well, with iOS 11, this warning may not be necessary since these older apps will no longer work.
The good news is that it looks like a number of developers have been busy upgrading their apps to comply with the mandatory change. The number of incompatible 32-bit apps in the App Store dropped from 200,000 earlier this year to the current 187,000.
But this number also includes the 32-bit apps that have already disappeared from the App Store so the figure can be misleading.
To further stress the importance of 64-bit compliance for users and app developers, Apple introduced a new set of warnings and a new "App Compatibility" section under Settings in iOS 10.
Here's how to check: Open your iOS gadgets Settings app, tap "General" then "About." Next tap on "Applications" to see all your installed apps that need to be updated.
The new "App Compatibility" menu has a list of all the older 32-bit apps installed in your iOS gadgets that will require a 64-bit update soon. Again, Apple warns that "these apps may slow down your iPhone" and adds that they will no longer work with "future versions of iOS." The warning then spurs the user to contact the app developer if no update is available.
Here are some of the popular iOS apps that still need to be updated:
- Atomic Web
- Cox Cloud Drive
- AirFoil Speakers
- YouTube Capture
- Infinity Blade
With the public release of iOS 11 fast approaching, time is running out for the developers and Apple is urging users to remind the developers of their favorite apps to keep up with the new system. Hopefully, by getting iOS gadget owners involved, the havoc of the 64-bit transition will be minimized as much as possible.
Say goodbye to older iPhones and iPads
Related to the shift to a purely 64-bit environment, iOS 11 will not be available for 32-bit devices like the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPad 4 and older. The oldest devices that can support iOS 11 will be the iPhone 5s (including the iPhone SE) and the iPad Air.
Here's a list of iOS 11 capable devices:
- iPhone 5S and newer
- Any iPad Air
- Any iPad Pro
- iPad mini 2 and newer
- iPod touch (6th generation)
Even then, although supported, new iOS 11 features won't be available to every device. For example, the new Control Center 3D Touch features will obviously not work with non-3D Touch capable devices (iPhone 6 and older) nor will the fancy ARKit enabled augmented reality apps.
Keep in mind that although your Apple gadget cannot be upgraded to iOS 11, it doesn't mean that it will be unusable. It will still be functional with the most recent iOS version it's compatible with. However, it will no longer receive updates so think about upgrading to a newer gadget soon.
What do you think? Are some of your favorite apps and gadgets on the chopping block? Drop us a comment!