I ran into something rather frustrating today. I’m an iOS developer and have a couple different iPads, iPhones, etc. The iPad that my daughter uses (she’s 2 btw) is an old one that we install puzzle games on and so forth. It currently has iOS 5.1.1 installed on it.
Several of these kids games now require iOS 6, etc. However when I try to upgrade this ipad I get a message saying that iOS 5.1.1 is the current version. See the screenshot below.
At the time of this writing the current version of iOS is iOS 8.x.
After some searching I found out that Apple has literally abandoned old devices. Below is a simple table taken from the Apple Forums that shows the compatibility list for Apple devices and the iOS software.
IPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad iOS Compatibility Chart
Device iOS Verson
iPhone 1 iOS 3.1.3
iPhone 3G iOS 4.2.1
iPhone 3GS iOS 6.1.x
iPhone 4 iOS 6.1.x
iPhone 4S iOS 6.1.x
iPhone 5 iOS 6.1.x
iPod Touch 1 iOS 3.1.3
iPod Touch 2 iOS 4.2.1
iPod Touch 3 iOS 5.1.1
iPod Touch 4 iOS 6.1.x
iPod Touch 5 iOS 6.1.x
iPad 1 iOS 5.1.1
iPad 2 iOS 6.1.x
iPad 3 iOS 6.1.x
iPad 4 iOS 6.1.x
iPad Mini iOS 6.1.x
So in essence – most users of the iPad 1, iPod Touch 3 (and earlier) and the iPhone 3g (and earlier) are a little out of luck. These devices cannot upgrade. On top of that most apps in the app store now require iOS 6.1 as the minimum version for installation.
Let’s look at the timeframes here. The iPad 1 was released in April of 2010. iOS 6 was released in September of 2012. Which means that Apple ended support of the iPad 1 in just over 2 years. (i’m not surprised – it’s apple – I’m just saying that’s pretty bad).
By comparison – let’s look at Windows XP. This OS was released in December 31, 2001. Mainstream support was ended April 14th, 2009. So 8+ years in total.
I know that this is not an Apples to Apples comparison – but 2.5 years – c’mon. Being a developer I also get the need to deprecate old software and hardware. What frustrates me is the fact that developers are now required to support up to iOS 8 when making their apps for Apple. Many app developers also have to choose iOS 6.1 as the minimum required version of iOS in their xCode setups. In essence in just a few years Apple is forcing these old devices to become glorified paper weights despite them still functioning perfectly.
P.S. I have iPad 1 to sell if anyone is interested. It doubles as a great paperweight.
Are you stuck in this scenario too? Let me know below and the device you are stuck with.