iOS users can expect tons of updates when iOS 11 launches at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference next week. Apple has always been good at keeping its older products updated, so we guess it’ll still try to make most devices suitable for the newest version. However, sooner or later, some of them just get too old, making them less of a candidate for the rollout.
While the tech giant maintains a strong backward-compatibility with its device lineup, there have been indications that it is dropping support for 32-bit apps altogether with iOS 11. Starting with iOS 10.3, Apple has begun notifying users when they open a 32-bit app on iOS. The alert says the app must be updated by the developer or else it may no longer work with future versions of iOS. That could mean the end of support for 32-bit devices too, which suggests the iPhone 5 and fourth-generation iPad won’t be compatible with iOS 11.
(…and it sounds like future A-series chips won’t even include 32-bit support. Wonder if that’ll free up any performance/die space?)
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) April 8, 2017
According to reports, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s could also lose iOS compatibility this year. Since Apple has discontinued the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, these tablets could be chopped too. However, these four retired devices are less likely to lose support than the first two mentioned above. Other retired handsets with iOS 10 compatibility, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, and iPad Air 2, should all be compatible with iOS 11, alongside the current models on the market.
When is the iOS 11 release?
The new OS should be shown off during Apple’s June 5 keynote. However, it won’t likely be fully released until the fall. The Cupertino-based company usually debuts the new version of iOS on or around the time it launches a new model of the iPhone. If it follows the same pattern this year, that’ll be sometime in September.
There have been rumors of a possible iPhone 8 delay due to production issues, but it seems unlikely that the final iOS 11 release date would be pushed back also.
What are the expected iOS 11 features?
Apple always kees its cards close to its vest when it comes to software, but here are a few possibilities:
- Siri updates – Apple is said to pump up Siri‘s ability to communicate more naturally. In combination with the company’s heavy investments in machine learning, this could make its voice assistant more powerful than ever, able to handle complex queries in a single bound.
- Apple Music with video – According to Bloomberg, Apple executive Jimmy Iovine said that a version of Apple Music that “better showcases video” would be among the features of the iOS 11.
- Group Facetime – This is a new group chat feature, similar to Hangouts and Skype, that should be coming to FaceTime. The update will allow multiple users to join a single call; which has been the app’s most obvious missing feature.
- Dark Mode – Dark or Night mode changes native apps from their stark white background to something a lot darker to help with nighttime visibility.
- Maps improvements – Rumors have it that the company will begin using drones and indoor navigation technology to improve its still flailing Maps app. The drones would reportedly be utilized to offer up more reliable data in the app– something it still desperately needs.
- Person-to-person Apple Pay – One feature has been missing from the Apple Pay since its launch last year: the ability to easily send payments between users of Apple devices, so a money-swapping feature might be in the offing for this year.