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Apple Could Purge Tens of Thousands of Old iOS Apps

Mashable has noted a change in Apple’s compatibility warning that suggests future versions of iOS will not support a swathe of older software. Among the potentially impacted would be some of the early hits that fueled the rise of mobile gaming and the app economy, such as Ocarina and Ridiculous Fishing.

Apple switched from 32-bit to 64-bit architecture with the iPhone 5s in 2013, and previously warned users of apps built for older environments that they “may slow down your iPhone.” Now, the warning has gotten a lot more emphatic.

The dialogue was discovered in a recently-released beta of iOS 10.3.

Mashable says “tens of thousands” of apps could be affected. Apple has been pushing developers to update their apps to 64-bit for a while, and this seems to be their final line in the sand.

However, because many older apps no longer generate significant revenue, developers won’t have much motivation to do the work of porting their old programs to 64-bit code. Without a major archival project along the lines of the Internet Wayback Machine, they could simply disappear.