iOS 11 is going to bring many changes to iPads, but there’s one that’s easily overlooked: it will no longer support 32-bit applications. This means iOS software that hasn’t been updated in years won’t run on the next OS version.
A full move away from 32-bit has been coming for years. All third-party applications submitted to the App Store after February 1, 2015 had to have 64-bit support. Later that year, the company began requiring any updates to current software to include 64-bit support.
32-bit Apps Slow to Die
But many developers didn’t modify their applications, just leaving the old 32-bit versions unchanged. In response, Apple began removing applications without 64-bit support from the App Store in September 2016.
This didn’t affect the copies of these older apps already on users’ tablets and phones, though. Virtually all of these are games, and there’s an easy way to tell which ones they are. Apple built a pop-up message into iOS that warns “This app will not work with future versions of iOS. The developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility.”
Anyone who still has a 32-bit app on their phone or tablet should be aware that installing iOS 11 will remove it from the device.