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In one fell swoop, this fall's forthcoming iOS 11 update will mark the end of support for not only 32-bit apps, but also legacy 32-bit devices. That means owners still clinging to their iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and fourth-generation iPad will be left behind — or forced to upgrade.
Though they received last year's iOS 10 update, the trio of devices running the Apple A6 CPU — the last custom processor the company made with a 32-bit architecture — will not be making the trip to iOS 11.
The move isn't a surprise, as Apple's recently released Clips video app only supports 64-bit hardware, meaning it cannot run on the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, fourth-generation iPad, or any devices older than those.
Accordingly, iOS 11 will also mark the end of the line for 32-bit apps, which do not run in the first beta of the mobile operating system. Developers will need to update their apps to 64-bit before the launch of iOS 11 this fall, or else users will need to ditch abandoned apps before upgrading.
Of course, the iPhone 5 and other legacy devices will still function properly with iOS 10.3.2 and earlier if users choose to continue to stick on legacy platforms. But the outdated hardware and software will become increasingly obsolete over time, and there is no guarantee that functions or apps will continue to work as expected.
Such changes every year, and the phasing out of older hardware, are not new. Last year the popular iPhone 4s did not make the cut for iOS 10, and users who continue to use Apple's last 3.5-inch iPhone model cannot update past iOS 9.3.5.