Apple’s macOS Sierra and iOS 10: Leaving the past behind

“The preliminary word is out. Unlike the former OS X El Capitan and iOS 9, some older gear will not be supported with the forthcoming macOS Sierra and iOS 10 releases,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “While it’s still a pretty wide-range of equipment, some models have been dropped.”

“So for macOS Sierra, all Macs from 2010 on will be supported, along with the 2009 iMac and MacBook. That means from six to seven years, which is actually quite good,” Steinberg writes. “Some of those older Macs are long in the tooth, and I suspect the El Capitan user experience was not very snappy, so it’s about time for Apple to set them behind. The list of supported hardware, which includes all of my Macs, is actually quite good.”

“The same holds true for iOS 10. Some of the older models supported by iOS 9 are passed by. So forget about such gear as an iPhone 4s, iPad 3 (or third-generation), the original iPad mini or the iPod touch, fifth generation,” Steinberg writes. “In saying that, iOS 9 was no great shakes on these and other ‘vintage’ products, so it’s no great loss. Yes, I’m aware that some published reports listed a wider range of supported products; I’m basing my summary on the reported system requirements that iOS developers will encounter. That could change later on, though that rarely, if ever, seems to occur.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Time marches on and hardware gets old.

Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. — Steve Jobs

40 percent of all iPads sold to date won’t run iOS 10 – June 14, 2016
Which Apple devices can run iOS 10? – June 13, 2016


  1. Old doesn’t mean not useful. Nor does old always mean something won’t be able to run the latest OS.

    Now, of course, Apple here *are* basically saying that for certain Macs – at least as far as Sierra is concerned; thankfully most of my Macs are in the included list so at least I have the option. Several of my iPads are not, but I’m content to let them stay on iOS 5, iOS 7.1.2 or iOS 9 and they will still be useful devices running those versions as part of my studio setup for music production.

    I *just* updated a Mac to Yosemite from Mountain Lion (not El Capitan because El C introduced graphics issues for Pro Tools). However it had been stable on ML for a good while and I only updated it because some of the software I use on it is no longer validated against ML moving forward.

    But it’ll be a good while before I venture into Sierra territory I think. No need of the new features for music production.

    But, here’s another example: I just pulled an EeePC 701 (remember those?) back into service by installing the latest Ubuntu 16.04 on it, turning it into a very useful little portable development machine. Running a windowing system and a Postgres server on it too. 🙂

    We live in this (too) fast-paced throwaway society where sometimes change is for change’s sake (or profit’s sake). Having said that, I applaud the new innovation that’s going into iOS 10 and Sierra. I don’t need most of it mind you. 🙂 Not yet at least…

    1. too bad about the pro tools issue. i had 2 computers on Yosemite that were essentially unusable. i read about how el Capitan improved speed and installed it and got 2 computers back. its amazingly faster. apparently they “adjusted how they handle interrupts and coalesce screen updates and leverage video cards”

  2. Innovation in the smartphone tech has progressed rapidly (thanks to Apple), as it is a relatively new field. It’s amazing that Apple has been able to provide support to as many old models as it has, although they have suffered somewhat with the newer versions of iOS with some releases.

    On the Mac side, some 2009 devices will still function for the foreseeable future (presumably at least another year), which is pretty amazing.

    None of those unsupported devices will cease to function, they just won’t load the newer versions of software. Nothing new here.

  3. I thought ipad 3 and ipad 4 were basically exactly the same other than substituting lightning port for old apple connector. Doesn’t make sense to abandon one and not the other.

    1. The iPad 4 has a faster processor. The iPad 3 is basically the same as the iPad 2 with Retina and was underpowered to drive that in comparison. I have two iPad 3’s. I still use them for music production just fine, but it makes some sense to keep the iPad 4 on the iOS 10 schedule. Not the iPad 3 though.

      It begs another question though? How much more processing speed is going to be taken by iOS 10 that it will require the added ooomph of iPad 4 and above. It’s clearly not just a 32-bit vs. 64-bit issue *if* the iPad 4 will be supported.

      So, that may well indicate that iOS 10 will soak up more CPU than iOS 9 did and that’s another downside. It implies we’ll all need faster iPads eventually. More obsolescence for not much gain (from my perspective).

  4. ⚡Scary memory from the past!⚡

    When Apple was transitioning from Mac OS to Rhapsody to OS X, they stated that OS X 10.0 would NOT be compatible with Macs older than 18 months. They justified this by saying that customers with Macs older than 18 months typically did not bother to update their computer’s operating system. – – Peasants with Pitchforks and Torches threatened to burn down Cupertino if Apple didn’t relent and significantly widen their list of compatible hardware. So it was to be.

    IOW: Apple allowing Sierra to run on six (or seven) year old Macs is significantly generous compared to their idea of OS compatibility at the end of the 1990s.

    1. I remember that DC. But back then updating your OS was much more of a pain in the ass than it is now, you had to go buy the OS box, load the cd or dvd, and then wait hours for it to complete. So I think Apple actually had a good point when OS X came out of beta. For example, my G3 kanga wouldn’t run it at all and at the time it was ~2 ½ years old, but other than the processor it wasn’t much different than the 3400c that preceded it. So I swallowed it and bought a new PowerBook. But I know a lot of Power Mac G3, and 1st gen iMac users were pissed.

      1. True enough. But NeXT already had experience getting NeXTStep to run on a wide variety of PC hardware. Their hardware compatibility booklet had to be over 40 pages long with various PC configurations listed.

        Of course, Apple was under pressure to get the thing out and running in a hurry, which they were already failing to do at the ’18 month’ restriction statement. Then when 10.0 came out, it was so clunky that they gave 10.1 away for free.

        Hey wait a minute! Clunky OS version… Giving the next version away… Is that where we are again today?! OMG. 😉

  5. That makes me — what — 6 revisions of OSX BEHIND, on my 2007 Macbook running 10.6.8 Snow Leopard?

    Oh, the HORROR!

    Bleh — anyway, the Snow Leopard OSX 2007 Macbook continues to do heavy lifting, EVERY day, without a hiccup — true, my toolsets/apps are mostly out of date, but they still do what they always did, without fail, and allow me to produce very profitable product and services for my customer base — can’t dispute the facts.


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