How Do I Find Apps for Older iOS Versions? My iPad 1 Still Works Awesome!

How to find apps for older iOS versions

Everyone knows that Apple keeps encouraging users to update or upgrade to the latest version of iOS. That’s currently iOS 10.1. But what about older devices that are still in great shape but aren’t getting new apps just because their upgradability has been capped at a particular iOS version?

I have a grand old iPad first generation that still works like butter. Rancid butter at times, but butter nonetheless. But I was struggling to find some relevant apps that I can download, and I was really surprised at how hard that was. Basically, Apple and its developers seemed to be telling me that my older device was irrelevant to them.

But then I found something called legacy apps, a feature that Apple silently introduced in 2013 that would allow the device to download only compatible versions of an app. I did try that on a few apps that I wanted, but other than telling me that my device was not compatible with the latest version of the app, it didn’t prompt for an older version or anything like that. Maybe they’ve removed it since then, I’m not sure.

So I kept searching, and I found several sites that were aggregating the links for older apps. I had suddenly struck upon a goldmine!

There seem to be several sites that were doing this, and I’m not just talking about isolated threads in Reddit or Quora. I mean full-fledged websites that had direct links to iTunes apps that were compatible with iOS 5.1.1, specifically. Here are two of the more popular ones:

FindOldApps – great for older iPads, but it’s got several great iPhone apps as well.

On this website you should be able to find everything you need for various versions of iOS 3, 4 and 5. I found some old classics like Mahjong and Solitaire, as well as some newer apps like Extreme Roadtrip 2 from 2016. The website has a filter where you choose your iOS version, the device and even keywords for specific apps you’re looking for.

Here’s the website link:

iPhone.Mob.Org – Goes as far back as iOS 1

This site was visually more appealing, and it had links to apps that were originally submitted to the App Store back in 2007 after the iPhone was launched. If you can’t find what you need here, then there’s probably no compatible version of that app for your device. As with the other site you can choose the platform and device that you’re trying to find apps for. Some great ones here.

Here’s the link:

Hopefully, with the help of these two websites you should never have to complain about the lack of apps for older iOS devices.

One think I must tell you, however, is that some of these apps may have not been updated for a while. Apple did say in September that they were going to do an App Store cleanup to remove all these older apps that weren’t active, but we don’t know how far they’ve come with that massive project.

What we would advise is for you to check the app and see if has any recent reviews or activity. Also, check when the latest update was made available. The reason we suggest doing this is that several cybersecurity attacks involve using bugs and vulnerabilities in older apps. Since these older apps don’t have security patches for new vulnerabilities, they may be at risk.

As such, you need to proceed with caution when you’re downloading older apps that haven’t been updated in a while.

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