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Old 09-17-2013, 06:20 AM   #1
tubemonkey
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Apple Offering 'Last Compatible Version' of iOS Apps for Older Hardware

This is good news for owners of older hardware. A few weeks ago, I was trying to download some music apps to a friends iPod touch 2 and was met with rejection after rejection because of the older firmware. It wouldn't take Pandora, iHeartRadio, AOL Radio, etc. Hopefully, this new feature will breath some new life into that aging iPod.

[Mod: Indeed it does. Accessing the Apple App store from an iPod with iOS version 4.2.1 and trying to download the Kindle app now downloadsthe last compatible version of the Kindle App, version 3.1.1.]

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With iOS 7 arriving tomorrow, Apple is extending some love to the owners of older iOS devices that have been left behind. New compatibility features, first spotted on Reddit, will now kick into action if you attempt to download an app that is not supported by your current firmware. Instead, the company now asks if you'd like to install the last compatible version, which, for some apps, can be over a year old.

Last edited by pdurrant; 09-23-2013 at 05:57 AM. Reason: added a note about ebook software
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:41 AM   #2
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That's a great idea. I hope Google pick up on it for Android too.

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Old 09-17-2013, 06:48 AM   #3
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This is good news for owners of older hardware. A few weeks ago, I was trying to download some music apps to a friends iPod touch 2 and was met with rejection after rejection because of the older firmware. It wouldn't take Pandora, iHeartRadio, AOL Radio, etc. Hopefully, this new feature will breath some new life into that aging iPod.
I wonder how far back? Just for iOS 6, or even back as far as iOS 3 and 4?
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #4
Jessica Lares
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Oh wow. This is nice! Anyone still have iOS 3 then? I'll tell you which apps worked then since I have most stuff dating from when the App Store opened that you can try.



Things like Evernote won't work due to API changes though probably.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:07 AM   #5
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About damn time somebody did something like this.

We should always be able to choose what version we download. That needs to be the next step. Something we used to take for granted as common sense.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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That's a great idea. I hope Google pick up on it for Android too.

Graham
Google has had this for a long time. When submitting an app to the store, you can upload multiple binaries targeting different OS versions. But it is up to the developer to enable multiple binary support on their portal.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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Google has had this for a long time. When submitting an app to the store, you can upload multiple binaries targeting different OS versions. But it is up to the developer to enable multiple binary support on their portal.
Maybe one day Apple will catch up.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:43 AM   #8
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About time! IOS developers seem have a fetish for NOT mentioning when they drop support for an IOS revision. I have at least a dozen apps that have been dropped this way and either dn't run at all or crash while loading. The devs always say "We can't support every version of IOS" but they don't have to support every version. All they need to do is mention when they stop supporting a version and then we won't update it.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
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As I understand it Apple block newer copies of Xcode from producing apps that support older iOS versions. Removing this would have been a better option.

Installing old, maybe bug ridden or insecure apps _might_ be better than the nothing currently on offer. Not by much though.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #10
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The thing is ... how old is too old ?

We would prefer to keep a hardware for years, usually four or more years in some cases. People who own a laptop do that all the time. It is not a surprise see some laptops still running Windows XP or even more ancient versions of Windows Os. Now with tablets, the phenomenon is just repeating.

But the problem is that such devices are becoming too old and slow for new firmware and software versions. I understand people want to keep using their devices. Hey! they still work and two years does not sound like too much, but it is hard for some developers to keep the pace. Even on the Linux world, like Ubuntu, a stable and supported version is backed up only for a year or so, not for ever.

I see nothing wrong on keep using a tablet that is three or more years old. But people should not expect to be able to download updated versions of their Os and apps or get mad because apps crash. They need to understand that the device is now too old. And if the issue is about using those devices, then they need to acknowledge that further updates are not possible without stability issues.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:49 AM   #11
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If an app/program works, and does what I want it to, why should I have to upgrade?
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:58 AM   #12
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If an app/program works, and does what I want it to, why should I have to upgrade?
Why, to engross those already overly larger coffers corporations have. Have you heard of capitalism?
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocampo View Post
The thing is ... how old is too old ?

We would prefer to keep a hardware for years, usually four or more years in some cases. People who own a laptop do that all the time. It is not a surprise see some laptops still running Windows XP or even more ancient versions of Windows Os. Now with tablets, the phenomenon is just repeating.

But the problem is that such devices are becoming too old and slow for new firmware and software versions. I understand people want to keep using their devices. Hey! they still work and two years does not sound like too much, but it is hard for some developers to keep the pace. Even on the Linux world, like Ubuntu, a stable and supported version is backed up only for a year or so, not for ever.

I see nothing wrong on keep using a tablet that is three or more years old. But people should not expect to be able to download updated versions of their Os and apps or get mad because apps crash. They need to understand that the device is now too old. And if the issue is about using those devices, then they need to acknowledge that further updates are not possible without stability issues.
It's not so much about the expectation of being able to download the updated versions as it is a "take it or leave it" approach of Apple and its ecosystem.

If I've paid for an app and need to redownload it, I should have the option to do that at the particular version that is compatible for the hardware and OS combination.

It is reasonable to expect that older versions won't be supported, but those older versions should be available on an as-is basis.
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:39 PM   #14
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It should not let you download an update that is incompatible with your OS version.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #15
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It should not let you download an update that is incompatible with your OS version.
I expect there isn't an option for that. That would be too obvious and of course it would mean the devs having to test their software against multiple versions of OS.
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