iPhone gamers, brace yourselves for the app-ocalypse: Apple’s coming iOS will kill off some beloved games

“If you’re an iPhone user still addicted to Flappy Bird, be ready to experience withdrawal symptoms,” Cyrus Nemati writes for Slate. “When Apple launches iOS 11 in September, the company will drop support for old 32-bit applications—which is most apps released before 2014.”

“Apps that haven’t been updated by their developers to run on the more efficient 64-bit architecture will cease to work,” Nemati writes. “Nearly 200,000 apps from designers without the motivation or resources to make the changeover won’t make the cut. The transition offers a great opportunity for Apple to scrub scores of clunky, dated products from its App Store. But it will also hit older games particularly hard.”

“Past gems like Flight Control, Canabalt, Civilization Revolution 2, and cult favorite Flappy Bird—once showcases for the iOS platform—look to be relegated to a dwindling number of dying device,” Nemati writes. “Apple, for its part, has been sending future incompatibility notices to both users and developers since 2014, and their message has been clear: Update or cease to function. It doesn’t matter if a user still enjoys playing Monkey Island, or that he or she paid for their beloved XCOM. When iPhone and iPad users install software updates in September (and please do update), the unsupported apps will be useless.”

Read more in the full article here.

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    1. You can locate all your 32-bit apps by launching the Settings app, then navigating to General->About->Applications.

      You can remove them manually, if you wish, or use them all one last time for remembrance’s sake.

      I have over 200 of them. Sad.

    1. Even the games will be a problem for those who play them and have paid for them. Those users will care… as will most of the rest of us. There are a LOT of older apps from small developers who have moved on to other projects. Almost half the apps on my phone right now are still 32-bit.

      I’m not a big gamer, so most of my obsolete apps are substantive. A few are programs that I use quite regularly. If any of those had a real substitute currently available in 64-bit I would have changed over long ago, so iOS 11 will come with a lot of pain for me. I assume it will have compensating benefits, but this is going to be a tough transition.

      Again, you can check on the current status of your apps in the Settings app (General->About->Applications). Some will probably be upgraded between now and September, but many will not because they are no longer being maintained, even if they are still on the App Store.

  1. “Again, you can check on the current status of your apps in the Settings app (General->About->Applications).”

    This tells me nothing except indicate I have 50 apps. Tapping on Applications does nothing.

    What am I missing?

  2. Games on iOS increasingly suck.so-Called Free apps with in app purchases are a fucking scourge and many otherwise fine games have morphed into “play to win” where the developer has set the default difficulty or progression so high that buying your way to being able to play the game enjoyably is almost a given.
    One can scan the reviews of many long time iOS games and see how developers have morphed business models this way or outright abandoned purchased game apps to push the pay to win scam and Apple is allowing it.
    Maybe I am old school but I would rather pay once for an app and have the developer support it rather than have a free app designed to mine my wallet. And ad supported apps should be consigned to Android hell.

    Finally, there needs to be a posted minimum lifecycle for apps. When you pay for an app you should have at least some baseline expectation of support from the developer.

    1. I hate ‘pay to win’
      Could not agree with you more !
      And its not an old school thing. My friends kids all stay away from ‘pay to win’ games…. both on ios and Windows…
      ( (yes windows Apple, they wont even come close to a mac for gaming at this moment..thanks to another stupid decision you guys made in the past few years to neglect gamers/ poweusers/pros …….. , lets hope your new initiatives with macs can turn this tide around ……. and lets not forget schools)

  3. New market for pre-iOS 11 devices I guess.

    If Apple counts the OS share of iOS devices the same way as Google (e.g. unique visitors within 3 months to the Play Store), there might be a significant split in the pie for pre and post iOS 11 in the near future.

      1. If you are a fairly recent iPhone convert, you don’t even need luck. The iOS App Store began accepting 64-bit apps in 2013. They stopped accepting new 32-bit apps in February 2015, and stopped accepting updates that had not been recompiled in 64-bits that November. Searches in the App Store have not returned any 32-bit apps in the results since earlier this year, so the only way to download those apps now is with a direct link. Users have been warned on launch that 32-bit apps are obsolescent since iOS 9, with the warnings getting steadily more urgent. iPhone users with modest app appetites might well have no 32-bit problems left.

        I have been downloading apps since shortly after the iPhone 3g was released, so I have a lot that have long since been abandoned by their developer. If they were still being maintained, there would surely have been at least one update in the last 20 months. Bad luck for me.

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