With iOS 10.3, Apple is rolling out an entirely new file system called APFS or Apple File System. This new file system replaces the thirty-year-old HFS+ system that Apple used in its iOS environment since the beginning. Along with this change, Apple is also evaluating how to revamp some of the existing apps in its App Store. Apple has been encouraging third-party developers to update their apps to 64bit, mainly apps that developers have not updated in years. With APFS, Apple is moving into a 64-bit ecosystem. That’s why checking App Compatibility in iOS 10.3 is so important.
- Apple File System (APFS)
- How to Install iOS 10.3
- Manage Your Apple ID & iCloud Using iOS 10.3 Apple ID Profile
Goodbye, 32-bit Apps & iDevices
This App Compatibility Update is just the beginning. The latest developer beta of iOS 10 (10.3.2) does not include currently support 32-bit devices, including iPhone 5, 5C, and 4th generation iPads. This change gives credence to the rumors that in iOS 11, Apple’s newest iOS will only support 64-bit apps and 64-bit hardware. If Apple does indeed remove support for existing 32-bit apps (rendering these obsolete), that change could impact over 187,000 apps that are currently available on the App Store and work on both 32-bit and 64-bit iDevices.
Starting with iOS 10.3, Apple looks at all the apps that you have on your iPhone or iPad and suggests you update, replace, or remove those apps that do not meet the 64-bit future requirement. When opening, you also see a warning “This app will not work with future versions of iOS. The developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility” for some of the old 32-bit apps.
Manually Check App Compatibility in iOS 10.3
Here is how you can use Apple’s suggestion to take stock of your old apps on your iPhone or iPad and decide to replace or remove as needed
Step – 1 Tap on Settings > General > About > and Tap on Applications. If you are unable to tap on Applications, it means you have no incompatible apps on your device!
Step – 2 Apple reviews your existing apps and lists the Apps that have issues with future App Compatibility
Step – 3 If you have an app that is impacted by the compatibility issue, it’s listed, and you can update the app if there is an update or contact the app developer for more information
App Compatibility Check
This handy iOS 10.3 feature checks for an available 64-bit version of the app on the App Store and when available, prompts you to download it. If a 64-bit version is not available, Apple puts the onus on users to directly contact the developer.
But don’t feel too bad, Apple has been warning developers that this change was in the pipeline for over a year. Indeed, Apple stopped accepting apps built for 32-bit more than a year ago. And our Apple App Developer friends tell us that they received a lot of information about this transition and Apple even provided tools for developers to use when updating Apps to 64-bit.
Better Apps, Better Apple EcoSystem
Sooner or later it was bound to happen that a tech company would make 32-bit apps obsolete. Before we mourn their loss, let’s remember that when developers update their apps, we (the users) tend to get a better, faster, and richer experience.
So what do you think about this new feature from Apple? Perhaps, this is a good time to loop through all the apps on our iDevices, identify those not used in ages, and remove them! Need another incentive? Performing this clearing of the app clutter also frees up valuable space on your iDevice. Enough said.