The ‘iOS11 Apocalypse’? Is this really a new thing?

Reading ZDnet push content to my inbox this morning, and article screamed Get ready for the coming iOS 11 ‘appocalypse’.
I have a knee jerk reaction to this article: Really? Author @Adrian Kinsey Hughes has been around as long as I have and probably touched way more devices than I could count as every being created. He was using Apple’s Terminology in a video they released called ‘Apocalypse’. I, being a technology enthusiast and make my living in technology as a software engineer, team lead and scrum-master, will tell you this is just part of the playing field, not the end of the world.
Strictly speaking iOS (nothing about Mac, Windows PCs or the still running Linux computer I have), I was an owner (still am) of an iPad 1 64GB  (circa 2010.)  Up until this week my daughter was using it and an iPhone 4 as her devices – until I replaced my iPad Air 1 with a 10.5″ iPad Pro (yup, its fast! And I’m happy!)

Apocalypse #1

First there was an iPad 1 apocalypse.

All updates ended with iOS 5.1.1 – and it’s still there to this day.  If you wanted the latest app updates with iOS 6+ I had to invest in a new device (which I did – good strategy Apple!)  The only thing it’s good for this day is Netflix, Amazon Prime, and some Kindle reading.  Even movies purchased from iTunes cannot be watched streaming from the iTunes cloud since that is not supported in iOS 5.1.1 iTunes (I have a good investment there, and this is proving to be its own handicap / Apocalypse. The Still functioning interactive apps work for my 6 year old, but even try her patience when some constantly crash.

Apocalypse #2

The iPhone 4 is forever stuck on iOS7.

Once iOS 8 was released we started encountering “This app only works on iOS8 or above…” messages. I upgraded to an iPhone 6, now 7. But when the iPad couldnt support something we wanted to do, we went to the iPhone 4. Again, a 4..5..6 year old was patient enough to use it with its quirks, but Dad had to move on or be stuck.

Apocalypse #3

iOS11 Apocalypse

This is just another ‘Apocalypse’. Really nothing to see here, and we will work around it. This time though, Apple is kind enough to give an early warning our apps won’t work without a vendor update rather than “surprising(?)” us with a message down the road.

The iPad is such a cloud dependent device, if vendors do not change their web service / REST Resource endpoints or payloads, they can continue working indefinitely – and if you keep from updating to the latest iOS. Given the software iterations we’ve seen I am amazed Netflix and Amazon Prime still work in iOS 5.1.1. And why? They still support their apps’ backward compatability from the cloud. The version of iOS and 32 bit vs. 64 bit app doesn’t matter.
I still have a use case for my iPad 1 – binge watching House of Cards, the latest Marvel TV Show release or catching the occasional movie I want to see.
The Real Apocalypse will be when Netflix, Amazon, Kindle or similar cloud based services change their service endpoints without the ability to update their iPad iOS 5.1.1, iOS 7, or now iOS 10 clients.
In the end ask yourself – do you really plan to stay behind? Probably not. Just upgrade and get it over with. Your vendor apps will follow suit – if they don’t get there before you.
A list of iOS 11 supported devices

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2 responses to “The ‘iOS11 Apocalypse’? Is this really a new thing?

  1. As someone who simply wants my stuff to work for as long as it’s mechanically able, and someone for whom most of this stuff is luxury more than necessity (despite how “necessary” it insidiously seems to become), the OS updates frustrate me when my device becomes unsupported. To me it should only happen if the new features are essential and the old devices actually don’t have the mechanical capability to keep up. Can’t they make a lite update that is backwards compatible with the earlier equipment, within reason? Otherwise, it just seems like part of the business model to force people to buy a new pricey device every 3 years.

    • I was just telling the guy at the Apple Store the other day as I purchased my iPad Pro 10.5″, my iPad Air still works great – and if Apple had actually given it more RAM (only has 1GB) vs iPad Air 2 (2GB) and iPad Pro (4-6GB RAM) it would work flawlessly and I wouldn’t need an upgrade. He shrugged and said “I hope you enjoy your new iPad.” I will.

      On the flip side, my average computer upgrade cycle has been 3-4 years, so I’m not feeling stomach acid. I’m comfortable with my upgrade.

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