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App Store now allows fetching 'last compatible versions' of iOS apps

updated 09:18 am EDT, Tue September 17, 2013

Supports devices as old as iPhone 3G

Apple has enabled a new feature which lets people download the "last compatible version" of an app on the iOS App Store. Until now, only the most recent version of an app was available, which proved problematic for people with older hardware (and/or an older version of iOS) if compatibility requirements had changed. The new system will show a pop-up window in iOS, asking if they want to download an earlier app release.

The arrangement reportedly supports devices as old as the iPhone 3G. Apple may be worried about supporting older products in light of the iPhone 5s, which uses a 64-bit processor; until next month, apps written in 64-bit code won't be backwards compatible with 32-bit devices using iOS 6. Apple is promising to enable hybrid 32/64-bit binaries in October.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Gee, this would have been really helpful in iOS 4.2.1

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Well, it is a nice feature, early, timely, or late. Still pretty helpful.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Given that this is available to phones and iPads that still run 4.2.1, it's really helpful right now. I have an original iPhone stuck at 3.1.3, can't wait to see if I can re-download the "right" versions of some of my disappeared apps back (I don't expect a lot of success, but even one or two would be great).

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