When iOS 11 arrives in a matter of weeks, a long-predicted change will arrive with it: Apple will no longer support 32-bit apps.
The change has been rumoured for a while now, ever since Apple introduced a 64-bit processor with the iPhone 5S in 2013 and started giving gentle warnings that developers should update their apps.
But as far back as January of this year, users started getting a message warning them that the 32-bit apps on their phone wouldn’t work at all when iOS 11 became available. By June, Gizmodo noticed that some 32-bit apps had already disappeared from the App Store, but were still available to download if you had the direct link.
The iPhone 5s has been around for nearly three years, and most well-known apps are compatible with 64-bit processors. So what does this change actually mean?
Well, it turns out that Apple may stop supporting nearly 200,000 apps come September.
According to Oliver Yeh, cofounder of app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, there are 187,000 32-bit apps still on the App Store, which equates to about 8% all iPhone apps (Sensor Tower estimated in March that there are approximately 2.4 million apps on the App Store).
While it’s impossible to make a complete list of all the apps that will no longer be supported, both Sensor Tower and Business Insider have anecdotally noticed a handful of apps that appear to be 32-bit:
- YouTube Capture, a video recording app that got 200,000 downloads last month, according to Sensor Tower
- iSpadez, a card game app
- Neo Nectaris, a military strategy game
- Infinity Blade, a role-playing fighting game
If you’re noticing a pattern among the 32-bit apps, you’re on to something: Sensor Tower found that of the remaining 32-bit apps on the App Store, most of them were games — 38,619 to be specific. Education, entertainment, and lifestyle apps followed.
But if some of your favourite apps are only 32-bit compatible, they won’t immediately disappear when iOS 11 becomes available. According to Sensor Tower, the apps will probably stay in the App Store for a while and continue working on phones that haven’t updated to the new OS. Eventually, though, Apple will probably delete the apps from the App Store altogether.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to check if you have any 32-bit apps on your phone: Go into your settings, open “General,” tap on “About,” then click on “Applications.” That should show you which of your apps are 32-bit — if you don’t have any 32-bit apps, nothing will happen when you click.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the coming changes.
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