by Graham Pierrepoint
Apple fans rejoice – September has so far been a fairly eventful month for the brand, with their traditional hardware and software announcement seminar having revealed three new smartphones, a new iteration of smart watch, upgraded TV and more besides – and for many people already in possession of existing devices, the roll-out of iOS 11 will be exciting enough. The latest version of Apple’s operating system for iPhones and iPads is set to update features such as Siri, security and to bring in all manner of new functionality for augmented reality – and, as media outlets have reported in recent months, it will also spell the end for 32-bit applications, as the new platform will be entirely 64-bit.
What does this mean for existing users of Apple products? It means, essentially, that anyone using older iPad models or iPhones released ahead of the iPhone 5S will no longer be supported by updates. This means that they have effectively been made obsolete – it’s not the end of the world for users who are happy to continue using their devices for everyday tasks, but it may leave them extremely cut off from the advancement in app technology that is likely to press on for years to come.
Speaking of apps – here’s what you really need to know before tapping that ‘update’ button. Apps that are solely 32-bit and which will not be upgraded to operate on a 64-bit platform will no longer be supported by devices running iOS 11. This means saying goodbye to many different games and tools which have effectively gone untouched for a few years now – one of the biggest casualties is the infamous Flappy Bird, a deceptively simple but tricky game that swept mobile devices in 2014. The game was thought to be earning around $50,000 a day at its peak – but is now set to fade into obsolescence, at least on iOS 11 devices.
If you’re worried about which apps and games won’t be supported on the update, simply head to ‘General’, ‘About’ and then ‘Applications’ under the Settings app for more information. You’ll be given a list of all the games and apps you will wave goodbye to upon updating. It’s a bittersweet moment for many users, of course – but to stay updated, it will ultimately be worthwhile making a few small app-shaped concessions to move forward.