iPhone 8 Apple 2017


Everybody stop talking about apps. Nobody gives a flying fuck if ancient apps work. I’m talking about games.


it’s a piece of that. Apple keeps all apps on the app store, regardless of whether it works on the current OS. Some terms and conditions apply, but usually an app is removed either at the dev’s request, or an action from Apple regarding a C&D they received regarding that app: See, ProTube.

iOS 11 will not run an app that has not been updated for 64b. On iOS 10, you get an error that it may slow down your device. On iOS 11, it will not download the app at all. I’m pretty sure if an app is upgraded after you’ve upgraded to iOS 11 you need to manually hunt it down.

Umm… games are apps?


Not in the minds of everybody else posting in this thread, the people that keep talking about old versions of Netflix or whatever. Nobody cares about that. They are arguing with a straw man.


I just read back through the recent conversation, you’re the only one bringing up games and trying repeatedly to turn the argument toward your soapbox.


I personally think it’s pretty disheartening how widespread the belief is that game developers (or any app developers) should be expected to constantly support their entire back catalog regardless of whether those apps or games have any problems.

The mindset that “the developer hasn’t updated their game for 4 years, why should they expect it to continue working?” is so widespread speaks to how disposable some people think software and hardware is these days.

It’s also yet another wrinkle in the conversation around how expensive and unsustainable game development can be. When you not only need to focus on constantly creating new and groundbreaking things to survive, but also continually maintain your old stuff because a platform developer might break things on your behalf, it’s pretty tough.

Then, being called “lazy” when you don’t update your non-broken games is just the icing on the cake.


I’m not sure you need “new and groundbreaking” as much as you need something that has obvious value to players. As for the lazy part, I just read that as disappointment from fans. There will always be a long tail of game/app users who will be upset when the plug finally is pulled.

When I worked on Pharaoh, we made sure that it would survive the 2038 Unix timestamp bug… Not sure how many Windows platform changes have broken it in the meantime. But yeah… there’s no way most devs can afford to support old games indefinitely.


Every year iOS is upgraded. Pretty much every one of those updates makes architectural level changes. Apps need to be updated to either flat out work, or take advantage of the new features.This is especially a problem if the did some weird coding that’s not directly supported by Apple. Apple has somewhat worked around this with games where Game Center is gone, but don’t cause a game that wants to make that call fail.

For me, if an app hasn’t been updated since iOS 9, it’s abandonware. I’m not one of the people who think apps should be free for life. I’d be ok with a yearly new update to use the new features that is a paid purchase. They can make this version as backwards compatible as they can and remove the old version from sale. Apple doesn’t allow paid upgrades. I can kinda see why they don’t since the culture is for users to just hit upgrade. Creating a new app causes confusion with users.

If your app doesn’t support 64b, it’s “broken” today. Either update the existing one, or create a new version that is and sell that one.


Nobody in this thread cares about dropping compatibility with old (non-game) apps. You made that up in your head because it’s easy to argue against. That’s the definition of a straw man.

There are tons of older iOS games that ran great on iOS10 and will never be updated to 64bit. And that sucks, because now they’re gone forever.

“The developer should have updated it”. Yeah, like Ion Storm should update Deus Ex. But they didn’t, and yet I can still play it today. Because Windows didn’t break compatibility.


Again, @Granath’s posts are literally what started this current conversation.


OS updates one thing, but an Android app with minSdkVersion=1 will still run on an Android 8 phone, and will probably even still work.

It’s no surprise to me that they do this, given that Apple doesn’t even care about backwards compatibility in Swift. One of my work responsibilities is to maintain an iOS app written in Swift 2.3. They introduced breaking language changes in Swift 3.0 and dropped support for Swift 2.3 in later versions of Xcode. We now have two versions of Xcode on the shared development Mac.


So, thinking about it, I’ve come up with, for me, where the line is: if the app is for sale in the app store today, it should work on the current version of iOS.

Deus Ex is a bad argument since Windows is a different animal than iOS (and mobile platforms in general). Apple has never been one to look backward. Also, issues like this are dead easy to work around on a desktop OS. If and when Apple makes this change on macOS, well, that will be an interesting discussion for sure.

I went through @Granath’s list and found the following:

  • Uber: requires iOS 9 or later
  • American: Requires 10.3
  • Mariott: requires iOS 9
  • Expensify: requires iOS9

So, what was the original issue again? Only one of those apps doesn’t even work on iOS 9.


His post was about his device being left behind by iOS, which I clearly described in the post you replied to. If his device was supported, the apps would work on it, as they are still being actively updated by the developers. Straw man.

As for mobile platforms just bein’ different, see what Fishbreath noted about Android. They let you set the minimum version, and that ensures it will run. Google did not intentionally break backwards compatibility.


Look, can we be done with the straw man? His post was that he has apps that are mission-critical, and that by not letting him upgrade to iOS 11 Apple would “screw over existing customers.” He then listed apps that “are mission critical because if they do not work it will make my business travel much more difficult.”

None of these apps require iOS 11. I’m not sure where not being able to upgrade to iOS 11 breaks his workflow. Only one of these apps even requires last year’s OS.


The updates require a 64bit device, as Apple will no longer accept 32bit apps in the appstore. If he had a 64bit device he could upgrade to iOS11. Are you really not following this?


Ok, let me make sure I’ve got this in bullet points.

  • He is upset his iPhone 5 will not go to iOS 11.
  • He feels this is because key apps will not work unless he is on iOS 11.
  • All of the apps he listed work on versions of iOS 9-11, except 1 which requires iOS 10. Therefore, they are compiled to work on the iPhone 5 and above. I just went through the app store and looked up the version compatibility of all of those apps.
  • None of the apps listed require a base of iOS 11
  • His phone right now works with the latest in-store versions of all the apps listed.

Is there something I’m missing where him not being able to upgrade to iOS 11 is interfering with his device working fine, other than not getting the new shiny of iOS 11?


Come on Mark, stusser decided this was about playing games and anyone who doesn’t realize that gets “Straw man!” shouted at them until they stop replying out of apathy.


Trying not to be condescending here but this really is a matter of reading comprehension. He ended the paragraph with “Thus not being able to update it is a very short-term solution”.


How is it a short-term solution? I’m not even sure it’s a “solution” and I think that’s poor word choice. Maybe he ment problem? I don’t know.

We forked this thread with the whole “can’t run non-32 bit apps” discussion, but if he doesn’t upgrade his (physical) phone for a while, the apps will still work. I’m not thinking an app with a base line support of iOS 9, where they clearly do want to support older devices (to their credit), is suddenly going to require iOS 11.

Also, if he drops his phone in the toilet and gets a new one with iOS 11 already installed, all of his apps will still work.

He doesn’t get to take advantage of the new things on iOS 11, sure, but a lot of the new features were iPad-only anyway. His original complaint was he can’t go to iOS 11 and he can’t use the latest versions of apps because he can’t go to iOS 11. That’s not true, though, since the apps still work on his phone. They’ve been updated recently, so it’s not like Apple is blocking them on the older devices. Unless there is something I am missing about where Apple inherently breaks the updated versions from running on non-iOS 11 devices.


I think he meant “just don’t worry about updating, the apps still work for now” is a short-term solution. And for stuff like banking apps, cloud integrations, and services like Uber, he isn’t wrong. One day they’ll just unexpectedly stop working.


I think it’s a low-risk. Most of these companies are pretty risk-averse and you’re lucky if they take advantage of something new. With banking apps, I’ve found it is the reverse: upgrading to the latest iOS version breaks the app.