Apple To Sunset Legacy 32-bit App Support With Future Versions of iOS

Software developers take note, Apple wants to phase out 32-bit apps completely from iOS. Starting with iOS 10.1, mobile device owners who opened up an old 32-bit app received a warning that the app could slow down their gadget until the developer updates it to improve compatibility. More recent warnings reflected slightly tweaked language that leave out the performance part, but still makes clear that the developer has some work to do.

"This app will not work with future versions of iOS. The developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility," the newer warnings read.

iPhone 5s

The tweaked language applies to iOS 10.3 beta and includes the interesting disclaimer that future versions of iOS will shun old apps. While not plainly stated, Apple's wording suggests that iOS 11 will be the first version of the mobile operating system to only work with 64-bit apps. If not iOS 11, then some version after that.

Developers have had a few years to make the transition. Support for 64-bit apps was introduced with the iPhone 5s in September 2013. In addition, Apple had put developers on notice that all new apps needed to be 64-bit by February 2015, and all updated apps since June 2015. Despite Apple's efforts to this point, the App Store still contains a bunch of 32-bit apps that have not been updated in several years.

That might not be the case for much longer. Just a few months ago Apple said it would start removing abandoned apps from the App Store. Apple followed that up by removing around 50,000 in the month that followed. With the latest revised warning now appearing on handsets (albeit on iOS 10.3 beta), it seems Apple is eager to only carry 64-bit apps.