A new message found in the latest iOS 10 beta update seems to indicate Apple will be killing off thousands of apps and games that haven't been updated to support 64-bit processors. Say hello to the world of vintage iPhone gaming.
Apple is getting tough with developers in an effort to keep the app store up to date and clear out garbage apps no one wanted in the first place. The company began requiring all new apps to be updated from 32-bit to 64-bit back in 2015. This past fall, Apple took a more drastic step and reportedly cleared out 43,300 apps from its store. If this new discovery is what it appears to be, thousands more will be out the door.
RIP 32-bit emulation mode in iOS 11? pic.twitter.com/byMFuJPuVN
— Peter Steinberger (@steipete) January 31, 2017
Previous versions of iOS 10 feature a message for 32-bit apps that reads, "this app may slow down your iPhone." The new message very bluntly states that the app will not function when iOS 11 arrives.
It's hard to pin down a definitive list of what apps will be affected by the new rules. Older games that don't have a steady ongoing revenue stream for developers will certainly be likely to go. Mashable identified some classic mobile games like Ridiculous Fishing, Peggle Classic, Ocarina and Great Lightsaber that are all still 32-bit.
Basically, ask yourself if the app you don't want to lose is still making its creators money? If the answer is yes, they have probably updated or will update. With video games that don't rely on micro-transactions, there isn't a huge financial incentive for developers to take time away from new projects.
Whether this update discovery ends up being part of a final release or not, it's inevitable that Apple will drop support for 32-bit apps, it's been patient with updates for two years and now it's getting aggressive.
For beloved games that hold up over time and lose support, you can probably expect the developers that survive to follow Nintendo's lead and release classic, remastered editions in the future.
On the bright side, odds are when you search 32-bit, you won't be seeing "Linkin Park 8-Bit Rebellion!" anymore.