All through the many iterations of iOS 10, and even as far back as iOS 9 in 2015, Apple has been warning its App Store developers that it is dropping support for older 32-bit apps in favor of 64-bit apps on future versions of iOS. That time has finally come with iOS 11. Unfortunately, a lot of developers have still not updated their apps to 64-bit. Here’s how to identify which of your older apps are 32-bit, and update them to a more recent version that’s supported on iOS 11, if they’re available.
If you’re currently on iOS 10.3 or higher, there’s a very easy way to check which apps are 32-bit. To get to this page, go to Settings -> General -> About -> Applications -> App Compatibility. This will automatically bring up all the 32-bit apps on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. More importantly, it tells you if a particular app does not have an update that will be compatible with future versions of iOS.
The process is as simple as that. If there are updates available, download and install them. If not, that’s probably the last you’ll be seeing of those apps as you move up to iOS 11. The shortcut and icon will remain, but the app won’t open on the next iOS iteration.
This is not an unusual turn of events. Software upgrades regularly have feature deprecations and removals. For example, on every new version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, you’ll see a list of deprecated features or those that have been completely removed.
In Apple’s case, they’re simply cleaning up their App Store and making way for 64-bit apps for iPhone 8 and beyond. In the release notes for iOS 11 beta 2 that was released last month, you’ll see this:
• 32-bit apps will not run on future betas of iOS 11. (26402174)
To be clear, if an old app that you’ve been using for a while does not have a 64-bit equivalent to update to, it is not Apple’s fault; it is the app developer’s fault because they’ve been given adequate time and several warnings to update their apps. Two years is more than sufficient for any developer to get all their apps updated for 64-bit compatibility.
Unfortunately, at the moment, there’s no way to tell on iTunes whether or not an app supports 64-bit processing. However, now that future betas – and the final version of iOS 11 – will not support 32-bit apps, we’re hoping that Apple will make it clearer to users which apps are going to be supported and which aren’t, via iTunes and in the App Store.