Could 32-Bit App Support Termination Be A Factor In Slower iOS 11 Uptake? – The ‘Book Mystique

According to market analyst firm Localytics, the take-up rate for iOS 11, which as released September 19, is slightly slower than it was for iOS 10 last year.

The operative qualifier here is “slightly,” and I doubt that Apple is worried, but there are likely several reasons for slower adoption of version 11. It’s a much more comprehensive overhaul of the iOS than version 10 was, and some users may be holding back and letting early adopters wring the bugs out before transitioning. Another factor in play this time is that with 64-bit only iOS 11 Apple has terminated support for 32 bit apps. It has been speculated that possibly upwards of 200,000 iOS apps will be disabled in iOS 11, some of which may be favorites, users are reluctant to relinquish access to.

If you’re unsure, it’s very easy to check whether you have any 32-bit apps that haven’t been updated by their developers. Simply open Settings, select General, then About. Select Applications from the list that appears, and a list any 32-bit apps you have on your device will be displayed. If any are mission critical, you will need to find 64-bit substitutes.

Localytics expects the rate of iOS 11 adoption to rise in the coming weeks and months as bugs are worked out and as the iPhone X becomes available. They note that iOS 11 has a lot to offer, particularly for iPad users, including a new iPad Dock and the ability to drag and drop files between multiple apps.

I’m eager to take advantage of some of the new iOS 11 features, but I’m still looking for a satisfactory 64-bit replacement for PlainText, which has been my anchor writing and Dropbox Folder access and organization tool since I got my first iPad in 2011, always there in the background automatically synching documents back and forth from my Dropbox Folder with a dedicated searchable directory. It’s also a good text editor. Unfortunately PlainText was orphaned by its developers years ago. What I would need to directly replace it is a plain text editor that can synch with Dropbox and provide a searchable directory of the apps in the Dropbox Folders on my Macs listed from most recently modified. There are several iOS text and word processing apps that can link to Dropbox, but none I’ve tried have matched the elegant simplicity of PlainText which makes working on the same file across multiple devices simple and transparent as long as you work in plain text (.txt) files, which I do. If I need formatting, it’s easy to cut and paste to a word processor like Pages.

I’m hoping the new Files app in iOS 11 will provide a satisfactory Dropbox document directory function, hopefully even better and more convenient and efficient, but while reviews have been positive, I really won’t know until I’m able to test it in my own workflow environment.

Apple informs us that the Files app allows us to browse, search, and organize all of our files in one place with dedicated space for our recent files on our iPads as well as in app on our other iOS devices, and our Macs or PCs in iCloud Drive, as well as across other services like Box and Dropbox. That all sounds very promising.

However the unertainty puts me in mind of the transitions from 68K to Power PC and then from Power PC to Intel on the Mac. Apple handled both quite well respectively with Mac OS Classic support and the Rosetta dynamic binary translator for Mac OS X that allowed many PowerPC applications to run on Intel-based Macintosh computers without modification for a time. In both cases, one could move forward while still being able to use old school apps for some time after switching to the new environment, easing the transition.

iOS version upgrades are much less accommodating. Essentially once you upgrade to a final iOS version there’s no going back, and with iOS 11 that means no more access to 32-bit apps.

Apple would likely argue that they’ve been warning since their 64-bit A7 system on chip (SoC) debuted in the iPhone 5s in September 2013 that termination of 32 bit app support would be coming, and four years notice concededly doesn’t seem unreasonable, but people tend to procrastinate, and in the case of my hoping that Files will prove the charm for me, the only way to find out for sure is taking the plunge followed by a learning curve.

With iOS 11.0.1 already available and iOS 11.0.2 is reportedly in the works for release soon, I’ll hold off until Apple releases a few more iOS 11 bugfix updates.

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