When software was distributed physically, the consumer always had the freedom to use any version of an application they liked. Want to run a lightweight version of Word because you don't need all the latest features, or maybe you just hate the new UI? No problem. Did you like some video game better before they "improved" it? Just get the old disk out and play it.
Some people will argue that software developers should be able to require that their customers always have the latest versions of their product. I personally believe that decision should be in the hands of the user.
I'd love to see Apple allow side-loading for consumers, at the very least. The best solution, in my opinion, would be to also allow users to access some kind of "advanced" menu that would let them choose whichever older version of an app they choose.
Did somebody say Internet Explorer 6?
Now, being serious, I agree that the customers should be the ones to decide, BUT they must be conscious of the implications (lack of support, security issues, bugs that got fixed in a recent version, etc.).
In theory, the cloud could do this, too - if done right.
"The one that will run on your system" is not necessarily "the one you want", though. It's still not in your hands.
You'd need to handle it in either case.
With this change you can no longer be confident that app usage for legacy versions will always decrease. If your app suddenly becomes very popular (as most app developers are aiming for), you might have a substantial contingent of users who are on an old OS downloading an outdated version that you no longer support.
That's much better than them mindlessly issuing press releases to the world every time they change a feature that affects a minority of users.
Just to highlight the problem... i can't download a game on an iphone from [Adult Swim] because it requires a front facing camera!
I've been playing the same game on the new ipad with the front facing camera for 2 months. Never found anything that use the camera. go figure.
My guess is Apple decided to do this last minute, after they saw the number of iOS7-only apps that developers were submitting.
Sure you can. Netflix will sometimes have to do this. The old software just isn't allowed to talk to the server anymore.
I don't recommend that unless you have a mission critical bug, and even then I'd discourage it. A user is in charge of his/her device. I version APIs on the backend and then simply push out updates like any other software. If they choose not to use it then not much I can do. Eventually I'll turn the older API versions off and they'll either have to upgrade or stop using the app.
I want to purchase Logic for an older Macbook, but the OS doesn't support Logic X. Apple won't sell a compatible version and there is no shrink-wrapped version.
I'm personally in this camp, with iPhone 3GS and iPad 1. I'm hoping to be able to get an iPad Mini Retina soon, but the older devices remain in use. (The original iPhone doesn't get much use anymore, though...)
Unfortunately from real world tests it doesn't appear to be available for many truly older iOS versions.
I wonder if and how having that popup appear will affect people upgrading to the latest and greatest.
iOS already has a pretty fast adoption rate for new versions, I wonder if this will make it even better.
It's a lot easier to sell supporting iOS 7 only if all the users who haven't - or can't - upgrade can since have access to older versions of your apps.
Knowing that, developers will become increasingly reluctant to leave those customers behind -- and so will keep building for 6 and earlier, and won't use the new 7-only stuff.
This way, devs can immediately go to 7, knowing that customers stuck on older versions will not suddenly be unable to buy or (re)install their apps.
Prior to this, the only iOS devices that stopped receiving OS upgrades were the original iPhone and the 3G, the roughly corresponding iPod touch models, and the original iPad. The addition of the 3GS to the "no more OS upgrades" category probably vastly increases the set of people with devices that cannot be upgraded.
In addition to the numbers, there's also timing. The last new 3GS was sold less than a year ago. To already lose OS updates is a blow to those users.
So if I had to guess, a large part of this move is probably the 3GS, due to it suddenly contributing a large number of devices to the pool of those that the latest OS doesn't support, and due to it still being sold until relatively recently.
Anecdotally, I rarely see a 3GS any more.
If iOS7 were any good in my opinion, I would feel compelled to upgrade to a 4 or 5 though, as already happened before for users of 3 and prior.
This App Store change makes people like me even less compelled to upgrade, so this move is kinda unexpected coming from Apple, since it keeps the inertia.
There's still no mechanism that allows for 64 bit iOS7/32 bit iOS6 fat binaries,
it's either 64 bits iOS7/32 bits iOS7, or iOS 6 only. Probably the first time
that apps compiled for the latest and greatest can't run on old phones at all.
I don't recall OSX refusing to run 32-bit binaries when it allowed 64bit computing.
Just a note on how to build for 32 bit and still target IOS: You have to set the architecture for armv7, armv7s and then set your deployment target to 7. I have yet to deploy an app doing this so your mileage may vary.
iOS 7 is 64-bit only on the iPhone 5S.
iPhone 5S will run 64 bit iOS 7 and can run both 32 bit and 64 bit applications.
iPhone 5C, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPad 4, iPad 3 (or whatever they are called), iPad 2 and the iPad mini all will run 32 bit iOS 7 (kernel, libraries, drivers and the Applications themselves).
its in times like these that i miss shows like Monty Python..
Those guys could show with a good dose of intelligent humor, how stupid people behaviour are sometimes..
this news to be on the front page of HN like if it was a good thing, its just ludicrous..
if you have a pocket relation with apple thats understandable and forgivable.. but the ones that accept this kind of policies by only one company, because they are attached to the "brand" in somehow? its beyond sanity
There are bad implications to us all, if this model make its way into others companies and take over our culture, you could even say bye-bye to your beloved startup culture or the ability to launch the technologies that eventually will make a good thing to us all, and have people using it..
oh, they put money on your pocket? but whats is the real price that everybody else will have to pay for it?
you consume it? then its like that thing you like and make you happy, lets say a chocolate.. but or do employ slave labours, or have bad environment implications..
if you have conscious, you will always fell bad to feel good about it..