It’s been fairly common knowledge for months that Apple was dropping support for 32-bit apps with iOS 11. Now, it appears that Apple has taken another step towards phasing out the ability of app developers to continue selling 32-bit apps. You can no longer find 32-bit apps on the App Store in search results.
Old News Is New Again
The fact that support for 32-bit apps on the App Store was ending was reported earlier this year, and iOS 10.3 includes an alert for users when they first open such titles on their devices. The notification advises users that the software must be updated by the developer to continue working on newer versions of iOS.
You would have thought such developers would have already updated their apps, but it simply hasn’t happened. It’s been almost four years since 64-bit app support first arrived to iOS. When the iPhone 5S launched in September 2013, the mobile operating system began supporting 64-bit programming, and Cupertino has been gradually moving everything towards that standard. Even as early as yesterday, though, there were plenty of 32-bit apps on the App Store. So, even though the latest move is new, it’s still old news.
Prompting App Developers to Update Their Apps
We know that, behind the scenes, Apple has been trying other means of getting developers to update their apps. Removing those titles from App Store search results, though, means that you can no longer find the 32-bit apps on the App Store except by direct links. Ideally, developers will be more speedy in updating their apps, assuming they want to continue having them available to new users.
Future processors, according to 9to5Mac, won’t even include 32-bit support. This could free up performance and die space, for users and developers alike. In other words, removing 32-bit support could mean things like more room for better usage of the space available inside the iPhone.
Apple has also been working to remove “problematic and abandoned” applications from the App Store. Cupertino detailed its plans for dealing with such a problem, and has reportedly already removed nearly 50,000 apps that had been abandoned by their developers.
It’s Not the End of the World as We Know It
This move likely won’t mean much for most people. The majority of the apps currently available with only 32-bit support fall into the category of older games and educational apps. If you want to find out if an app you value will be supported, we’ve previously offered a tip on how to get that information. You can also check with SensorTower’s list of apps that won’t work with iOS 11. We’ll likely hear more about the end of 32-bit app support tomorrow, June 5, during the Worldwide Developer Conference keynote.