Apple Offers Legacy Apps for Old iPhones and iPads

Published on September 17, 2013
by John Paczkowski

When it debuts tomorrow, iOS 7 — the next generation of Apple’s mobile operating system — will support only the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and the fifth-generation iPod touch. But it’s not abandoning the older devices that can’t run the new platform.

Apple this week updated its App Store to allow users running older versions of iOS to install legacy versions of apps that are compatible with them. Now, when you attempt to download an app that’s no longer supported by your current firmware, instead of getting a “this requires iOS 7” prompt, the device offers to download the “last compatible version” of that app.

Great news for owners of older iPhones and iPads, which will now see the lifespan of those devices extended. Good news for developers, too; now they don’t have to worry much about excluding older devices. And a savvy marketing move for Apple, which by rolling out this “last compatible version” feature is offering its customers the assurance that their devices can continue to run their favorite apps even after they’ve aged out of the latest iOS update.

Update: Okay. Maybe not as great news for developers as I’d thought.

Return to: Apple Offers Legacy Apps for Old iPhones and iPads