The beta of iOS 10.3 released to developers last week indicates Apple is planning to drop support for legacy 32-bit apps in a future version of iOS, perhaps as early as iOS 11.
When a legacy 32-bit app is launched under iOS 10.3, a warning dialog pops up saying the apps needs to be updated, as:
“This app will not work with future versions of iOS. The developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility.”
Apple has offered support for 64-bit apps since the release of the iPhone 5s in September of 2013. The company has required developers to submit new apps that offer 64-bit support since February 2016, and include the support in updated apps since June 2015.
Support for legacy 32-bit apps has continued since then, although iOS 9 offered up a warning to users on the launch of legacy apps that the app might slow down the device’s performance.
Apple likely hopes the alerts will spur users to urge developers to update their apps with 64-bit support. Developers who do not update their apps with said support could see their apps removed from the App Store with the release of iOS 11.
Apple has been making move recently to keep the apps in the App Store updated and fresh. September saw the firm announce plans to begin removing “problematic and abandoned apps” from the App Store. The following month saw Apple remove a reported 50,000 apps from their App Store.