As part of the upcoming iOS 11 update, Apple has announced that 32-bit apps will no longer work, as the whole App Store moves to 64-bit instead. For a lot of apps (including almost all recent, popular and high-profile apps) this won't be an issue, as they will have been updated already. But smaller or older ones could be about to find themselves on the chopping block.
In this article we show you an easy way to find out if any of your favourite apps are still 32-bit, and what you can do if they have become obsolete. Read next: iOS 11 preview.
Why the switch to 64-bit?
When the iPhone 5s came out back in 2013 it was the first of Apple's phones to support the new 64-bit architecture of iOS 7. Since then all iPhones and iPads have followed suit, thanks to the A7 chip and its successors. See also iPhone reviews.
In 2015 Apple also made it a requirement that new apps or updates in the App Store needed to come with 64-bit support. This meant that many leading apps were ready for this latest transition years in advance.
Now, when iOS 11 releases around September time to coincide with the iPhone 8, the makeover will be complete. All Apple devices and apps will then be able to take advantage of the optimised 64-bit apps, which should run more efficiently and make full use of the operating system.
Essentially it will mean the drag factor on resources that currently exists to support 32-bit apps will be removed. Chocks away Biffy!
Read next: iOS 11 v iOS 10 comparison review
How can I find 32-bit apps on my device?
Discovering any old apps that haven't been updated is very simple.
On your iPhone or iPad go to Settings > General > About, and then look for Applications in the list.
If you don't have any applications that are 32-bit then tapping Applications will do nothing. But if you see an arrow on the right side of that section then tap on it and you'll be presented with a list of all the 32-bit apps on your device.
What if my favourite apps appear on the list?
Sadly, there's not a lot you can do to get these apps working again, as many of them will have long since been abandoned by their creators.
If you tap on the app in the 32-bit list you'll be taken to its page on the App Store. Be sure to check in the description whether the developer has released a newer version of the app under a different name or as a sequel to the original.
You will have to purchase this separately, as it's essentially a new app, but if you can't live without it then at least you can move to the latest iteration. Otherwise you'll need to search for alternatives.
For some ideas try perusing our various guides to iOS apps. These include the Best free iPhone apps, Best iPhone & iPad games 2017, Best kids apps for iPhone & iPad, 8 Best messaging apps for iPhone & iPad, and Best meditation and mindfulness apps.
Hopefully among these lists you'll find ones to replace your old favourites, or maybe even stumble over a future classic. Happy hunting.