The iOS App Store has hundreds and thousands of apps, with games contributing a significant proportion of the count. Although many of the latest games are an absolute visual delight, arguably, the most interesting ones are the iOS classics like Fragger, Doodle Jump, etc.
Sadly, the other word for classics is ‘outdated’. Developers created those games using a 32-bit framework, which has subsequently been upped to 64-bit. Apple introduced 64-bit apps with iPhone 5S and had been steadily pushing the developers to upgrade. While most of the developers obliged, some have not caught up yet. Analytics firm Sensor Tower estimates that around 8% are still running the old framework.
Apple has finally had enough. It is highly likely that 32-bit apps will get the boot with the next version of the iOS, which is scheduled to be announced at WWDC in June. You can’t fault Apple for taking this step, they gave enough time to the developers and needed to ensure adequate app performance on iPhones and iPads.
Out of the 1,87,000 outdated apps, a large percentage is games. In fact, the number of 32-bit games is almost double the number of apps in the second category, Education.
There can be many reasons why developers aren’t keen on adopting the latest 64-bit framework. Many of these games are a one-time project, and there’s no effort made to keep them updated, especially if the app didn’t get much fanfare. In some cases, the developer has moved on to newer and better games. At times, the app might be so old that it needs a complete reboot instead of a fix. Whatever be the reason, Apple has made the hard choice for these apps – make an effort or make an exit.
It’s a natural technology shift, and you won’t even notice the difference with most apps. But if you’re a long time iPhone / iPad user and still enjoy those not-as-pretty-but-still-amazing-iOS-games then start preparing for the inevitable.
Apple will release iOS 11 to the public in September-October with iPhone 8. As always, you will excitedly press the update button and go on an exploration spree to test the cool new features. It’s so amazing! A couple of days later, you will settle down to play your favourite game and press the app icon. To your horror, instead of the familiar welcome screen, you will see an ugly error message stating that iOS no longer support the app.
Sad as that sounds, there’s nothing you can do to prevent the inevitable. Time to say goodbye to your old friends. RIP.