Apple announced during its WWDC event on Monday that iOS 9 would help older devices run more smoothly compared to previous iOS updates, which tended to make them run slower due to internal hardware not coping as well.
At first glance, it would seem that could discourage people from buying new iPads.
In fact, it’s great news for older iPad owners. It means you may be less inclined to buy a new iPad because in theory it will run faster.
But we just found out a small piece of information about the new iOS that could change that tune altogether.
9to5Mac reported that with iOS 9, Apple also made it easier for app developers to drop support for older iPads that run on outdated technology (32-bit), which limits those developers in what their apps can do and how they look.
That means every iPad model before the first iPad Air.
So if you’re still clinging to your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation iPad, which runs on 32-bit technology, and you still want to use your favourite apps, you may soon be out luck.
App developers have an incentive to drop 32-bit support because it costs them time and resources to maintain the older app versions, and they’d rather focus on maintaining the newer version of their apps running on the newer 64-bit technology on the iPad Air, iPad Air 2, as well as iPad Mini 2 and 3, which makes their apps look and work better.
Also, every iPhone before the 5S also ran on 32-bit technology, and could be dropped by developers.
You may still be able to use 32-bit apps if the developer makes that decision, but they won’t be upgraded with new features or stability updates. You’d essentially be stuck with an outdated app while anyone with newer iPads roam in the greener pastures of fresh, newly updated apps.
Time will tell how this will actually play out. But the conditions are certainly there to naturally move developers away from supporting older iPads. And that could eventually lead people to inevitably have to upgrade.