Your favourite iPhone app could soon be killed off forever after Apple’s decision to make almost 200,000 apps obsolete with the launch of its new operating system.
Apple users have been warned their older 32-bit apps will no longer be compatible after the instalment of the upcoming version of iOS, with approximately 187,000 apps from the App Store set for a digital death sentence.
It comes as Apple moves to implement more powerful 64-bit processors as part of its highly-anticipated iOS 11 release on Wednesday.
A March report from research company Sensor Tower found nearly 8 per cent of all apps available worldwide will be culled, with games comprising the single largest category of obsolete apps.
This includes apps such as Peggle Classic, Flappy Bird, Great Lightsaber, Ocarina, True Skate, Spikes and Ridiculous Fishing – which helped put iPhone gaming on the map.
And according to Queensland University of Technology mobile expert Dr Christine Satchell, it is a “bad move” for Apple, because the tech giant’s deletion of apps and frequent new technology forcing consumers to upgrade or perish.
“I think it’s a real shame that Apple is creating this hierarchy of mobile users, those who have it and those who have not. Unless you have some of the latest platforms you will be totally pushed out,” Dr Satchell told The New Daily.
“It also really assumes that everyone has the latest iPhones and latest software, and what a shame it is starting to exclude users that don’t have the latest technology. It’s a shame they are going in that direction.
“If you have purchased one of these apps and you have an older handset, the fact that you will no longer be able to use them I think is really unfair.
“There are huge piles of redundant technology, redundant hardware, redundant apps out there now that no one can use, that’s what’s wrong with what they’re doing.”
Dr Satchell also said it’s disappointing to lose internationally-adored games, such as Flappy Bird, despite their inferior 32-bit processor.
“It’s a shame we are going to lose apps like Flappy Bird because what they don’t have in high-resolution graphics or state-of-the-art visuals, what they really make up for is a total immersion and really great gameplay that really sucks you right in,” she said.
“Just because something isn’t the most powerful app on the market people may love it despite whether it’s 64-bit or under.
“I think that’s a bad criteria to judge the usability and the user-friendliness of an app and people may like it despite this criteria.”
The games category has more than 38,600 games (20.6 per cent of the total) on the chopping block, while education (10.6 per cent), entertainment (7.6 per cent) and lifestyle (6.9 per cent) sections round out the top five largest categories targeted.
Apple’s move to 64-bit a long time coming
However, according to Sensor Tower founder Oliver Yeh, Apple’s push to newer code has been a long time coming since it first began supporting 64-bit code with the iPhone 5S in 2013.
In 2015, Apple outdated 32-bit only app updates, stating all new iOS apps submitted for approval must support 64-bit processors.
And it isn’t the first time Apple has undertaken an app culling, after it was found last year that 16 per cent of apps hadn’t been updated in more than three years.
The company removed more than 47,000 apps in October, soon after the discovery.
“Apple has been working to purge its platform of broken or unsupported apps in recent months, separately from its initiative to encourage 64-bit compatibility,” Mr Yeh wrote.
If you’re worried about losing your favourite apps, current iOS updates include a menu item (in Settings > General > About > Applications). That will show a list of all the installed apps that don’t run in 64-bit mode.