32-Bit Apps Are the Bane of iOS 11 Lovers, And I'm Not An Exception

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

There's nothing more exciting than getting a major iOS release, and older posts on AppleVis can easily substantiate my claim. Just take a brief look at this 2016 and this 2015 post to see what I mean. As such, this year's release of iOS 11 on September 19 should be a pleasantly busy day for all of us at AppleVis with lots of blog posts, podcasts and comments to digest.

However, things aren't as rosy as you might think -- at least for some users. While Apple announced few days ago that 32-Bit Apps Represented Less Than 1% of Apple's App Store Revenue Last Quarter, you'll be literally stuck if you have one of those apps which you can't dispense with. That is, if developers refuse to update their 32-Bit apps to 64-Bit ones or if they promise to do so but fail to deliver the updates before September 19, once you update to iOS 11 32-Bit apps won't launch. And the situation is more complicated if the developer of one or more of those apps is out of business!

So let me get to the gist of the matter. It's with great sadness that I have to announce that I do have some 32-Bit apps on my iPhone 7 Plus. My mobile banking app is a 32-Bit one and I depend on it as it helps me avoid those daily plaguy trips to find Automated teller machines which aren't accessible at all on this side of the pond. The developer has promised to take care of the issue. But as of this writing (Saturday morning Tehran time) that hasn't materialized.

I also have some 32-Bit apps which belong to the 100 Word series of books by Houghton Mifflin, but they no longer exist on the App Store as the old developer, English Channel, is gone and Houghton Mifflin no longer supports them. Of course, I can say goodbye to these apps more easily as I don't rely on the functionality they provide -- I'm a logophile, but nowadays can take the same degree of pleasure by hinging on other apps. Needless to say, though, the mobile banking issue is horse of a different color.

Now you might ask how you can make sure you don't have such irksome apps. Well, if you're running the latest iOS 10 release, just go to Settings/General/About/Applications, and you'll see all such apps listed there -- I have 8.

So here I'm facing an unpleasant dilemma -- wait, can dilemmas be pleasant in the first place? No, according to many dictionaries and diligent lexicographers. A dilemma is a situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or unsatisfactory. Well, guess I've digressed a lot. My dilemma entails either updating to iOS 11 to get the super-awesome Siri/accessibility features but lose access to my mobile banking app, or sticking to iOS 10 to avoid ATM trips but covet all iOS 11 niceties.

In closing, do you happen to have such apps on your iPhones and iPads? If so, what have you done to handle the situation? Have you contacted their developers? Are you willing to part with them in the case of getting no updates? And, last but not least, any recommendations for my upcoming Tuesday as I approach the fateful, or in my case rightfully and legitimately fatal, day?



Submitted by JTran2013 on Saturday, September 16, 2017

I'll definitely miss having my 32 bit apps after I update! My solution is finding alternative apps that have the same function as your old app. For example, Timely Time Teller will not be supported in IOS 11. I have Voice Clock in place of Timely. I also have an older device that will still work with Timely.

Are there any alternative apps to identify money? I have Nam Money Reader and currently Eye Note Will not be supported.


Finding 64-Bit app alternatives is a good strategy, and I guess it works for most apps.
As for money identification, I'm looking forward to future Seeing AI Assistant updates as it'll have money identification according to its developers.

Submitted by Moopie Curran on Saturday, September 16, 2017

The only 32 byt app I'll miss is radium, because it supports sirius XM sattilite radio. The developer refuses to update the app, :(
Luckily, about a week and a half ago, sirius xm updated their app, because before then, Sirius XM'S app interface was ugly and cluttered, and not the most usable in the world, well, let's just say before the update to the sirius xm app, I wouldn't even consider updating to ios 11, that's how bad it was. But fortunately, it's a lot better, so my need for radium has greatly diminished.

Good to hear it, Moopie Curran, and good move on Sirius XM's part! ooTunes, the famous and beloved radio app, had a similar fate but the developer updated it a while ago and now it'll be usable on iOS 11.

Submitted by Macky on Saturday, September 16, 2017

The only app I'll miss badly is Fleksy VO. I still use it for typing and haven't found any other app I can type out a long piece with. Without opening old debates, the new Fleksy isn't really useable with VoiceOver and although there are updates for that coming again, I would highly doubt there will be an update for the VO version any time soon or at all. As any potential VoiceOver bugs aren't traditionally addressed until the point 2 or even point 3 versions of the new ios releases, I might even hold off from upgrading right away. Any alternatives I might have missed I would love to hear about though. Cheers

Submitted by Unregistered User (not verified) on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Looks like you won't have to live without money reader in ios 11. The last update added 64 bit support.

Submitted by Amir on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

In reply to by Macky

Hi Macky,

Oh, Fleksy VO is a prime example of a 32-Bit app which will be sorely missed by many visually impaired iOS users. You're right, the new Fleksy is a mess in terms of accessibility and, IMO, usability. As someone who helped with beta-testing the original Fleksy, I just feel sorrowful of its loss though I myself stopped using it a long while ago.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Thanks Moopie Curran for bringing up my beloved Radium app. I also use this app due to Sirius XM's accessibility problems. I just contacted the devs about updating to a 64 bit version of Radium the other day. I appreciate you letting the community know that Sirius XM is more accessible now.

Submitted by PaulMartz on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hi Amir. Thanks for the article. I tried this on two different 10.3.3 devices, and General > About > Applications does not open. Any idea why? It works fine on the iOS 11 GM, though - select Applications and it opens with a list of apps and explanatory text about needing to be updated.

Submitted by PaulMartz on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I figured it out. Selecting Applications does nothing if you don't have any 32-bit apps for it to complain about. My two 10.3.3 devices are good. My iOS 11 beta device behaves identically, once I deleted the offending apps.

Submitted by Amir on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

In reply to by PaulMartz

Hi Paul,

I was also about to tell you that you're a lucky guy <LOL!>
Seriously, I'm glad you don't have a 32-Bit app to worry about. Wish I were in your shoes!

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hi. Not to rub anyone's noses in it, but I am happy to say that I'm lucky too! Thank goodness! Which is a real rarity in my life! lol

Anyways, no matter what sooner or later Apple will force you to update. You can put it off for so long, but eventually you'll just have to bite the bullet, and update if you're still holding out because it'll be forced on you. Microsoft does the same thing with Windows 10. You can defer updates for a month and then that's it.

However, this is a lesson that I sadly learned the hard way, I'd strongly advise not updating right away!!!!When ios. 10 dropped, I was really excited and my inner geek and my sensible part of me were duking it out about getting it right away. Well, inner geek won. And let me just say, it was a big mistake! I won't go into it all, but let's just say thatthings did get fixed in subsequent updates (somewhat) lol. I highly suggest you read the comments on here, see what various tech journalists and sites are saying and wait it out. Even if you get it at 11.2, at least maybe there's a better chance of bugs getting fixed that were introduced in the 1st version. Remember when ios. 10.1.1 I think it was came out and it made all the braille displays slow and barely usable? Yeah, I don't think anyone wants that again, and the issue was discovered extremely late in beta, but still... I'm taking my own advice next week and waiting until I get a pop-up on my system that says: `alert software update`

That being said, I sympathize with those of you who have 32-bit apps that are essential to your lives such as banking apps.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Saturday, September 16, 2017


Also, I talked to tech support and they said that if you have an incompatible app, once you update your device, you'll get a notification from the app store. They did say however, that it might take a few days to get to you though. For lack of a better phraise, don't freak.

Submitted by Toonhead on Sunday, September 17, 2017

I did some cleanup on my iPhone this afternoon and got rid of a whole bunch of stuff including any 32-bit apps that were there. Luckily, I wasn't using any of them a lot so it wasn't too much of a problem for me. I am ready for iOS 11 to drop!

Submitted by Amir on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

In reply to by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯

Hi Dawn,

Great points indeed. I also think being forced to update to iOS 11, as with previous iOS releases, isn't a matter of if; rather it's a matter of when. It seems that I should seek other online payment solutions -- the sooner the better. Moreover, I can't resist not giving the new Siri voices a try -- that'll kill me I guess <LOL>! By my own standards I've been quite patient as, in the past, I'd give a couple of iOS beta releases a try -- something I haven't done for iOS 11.

Submitted by treky fan on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Knowing that the release of ios 11 is right around the corner, I hunted threw my six pages worth of apps on my IPhone, looking for any 32 bit apps that I will have to part ways with on Tuesday. The only app I had, and haven't used in ages, is taxi mobile, which was good when you had to find a taxi, but siri has taken over that job for me. Its a good thing that ios is going to be released on Tuesday, because while my grandma is at her cardiologist's office, I'll have something to focus on so I won't be asking my trusty amazon echo what the time is every two minutes.

Submitted by kool_turk on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Let's see, radium, not that I use it much, although I do like the clean interface in that app.

Sixth sence, a nice free zombie shooting game I use to play occasionally.

Freeq, another interesting audio adventure type game.

I payed $5 for that thing and found it a ripoff.

Once you finish it a couple of times, it looses its value.

And the last one is another game I use to play, although I haven't played it for over a year now is called ear monsters.

I'd say I got off lucky.

Submitted by John Covici on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Well, I have been using list recorder for years and have accumulated quite a few notes, but this of course will not work anymore. I had to find something which would do its functions and transfer the files! Well, this has proved to be very time consuming, but its finally done as of yesterday. First of all, I had to go to iTunes and save all the files and of course they didn't have names which were the names I had given them -- and sometimes I never gave them a name. Then, I had to convert them to .wav and actually buy a program to do that! Then I tried to import the .wav's into various apps and found problems doing that. I tried ht recorder and discovered various problems including strange name transformations and other things. Then I tried audio share and it would not do basic functions, like pause a recording and other things. Then, I found audio memoes and I had some name transformations on import, but this is pretty nice, you can even insert audio in the middle of a previous memo. I tried a few other audio apps along the way, so the whole thing was a pita.

Submitted by David Standen on Sunday, September 17, 2017

I have a lot of 32 bit apps on my phone, the majority of which are games. The two games I will miss the most are Sixth Sense and Ear Monsters. Apart from that, the only other app I will miss is Fleksy VO.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Sunday, September 17, 2017

I already went through and deleted the 32 bit apps on my phone since I'll be losing them on Tuesday anyway. Thankfully, in my case, none of the apps I had to part with were in any way essencial for daily life. I was very sad to part with a couple of games, though: Touch Target and Spellstack. Touch Target in particular was a very enjoyable game for me, and to the best of my knowledge, there isn't a similar anagram-type game that is 64 bit. For those of you who are losing apps that actually matter, I sincerely hope that the developers of those apps does make an update available for you. If I'm being totally honest, the only IOS 11 feature I'm truly looking forward to is Siri's new voice, but maybe I'll find more to love once the update is actually installed.

Submitted by Toonhead on Sunday, September 17, 2017

According to the twitter feed of the developer, Radium *will* be updated for iOS 11, but probably not on the exact release date. So, there's hope for fans of that app, and that includes me. Good news!

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hey Toonhead, thank you for passing along the info from the Twitter feed. I am so glad to see that Radium is going to be updated. Now if I could only get the devs of the solitaire game 1 Foundation to get their act together, then all would be well with my 32 bit app issues.

Submitted by Jake on Monday, September 18, 2017

No matter which way you slice it, every app developer has known this was coming now for over a year. If they haven't bothered to update their app by now, then I'd abandon that app and find a replacement or go without. Think about it: if they were willing to let something as big as this slide for a year, how much more lax must they be about fixing other issues such as security flaws? I wouldn't want to run an app developed by people with the mentality of "oh well, we'll sit on this as long as we can and not bother until we get down to the wire." I don't trust them or their apps. As far as abandoned apps go, I don't even run them once they're abandoned, because I know full well that they're potential vectors for security exploits that will never be fixed.

Submitted by mendi on Monday, September 18, 2017

The only 32 bit app I have is X1 remote. You would really think Comcast would be on this one! Now watch, an update will come through today, making a liar out of me. That said, out of my large number of apps, this is the only one, and given there is another remote app out there, which I barely use anyway, I'd say I'm doing alright. Bring on iOS11!

Submitted by Amir on Monday, September 18, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

In reply to by Jake

All valid points, Jake. I've also decided to kiss goodbye to the app and switch to the more time-consuming telebanking for now. As you said, the developer has had many months to rectify the app, and I can't be kept in limbo regarding the future of a 32-Bit application. I'm in!

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Monday, September 18, 2017

Another thing you may want to keep in mind is that it could very well be Apple's fault. Not to say that some developper's are lacking when it comes to updating their apps to 64-bit, some may have already submitted their updates but been refused by Apple. I know for a fact that the two apps I have that are still 32-bit are Braille Sonar Pro and AppShopper Social. Now I have spoken to the developper of Braille Sonar Pro and they did reply saying they weren't sure if they were going to update it or just turn it into a web application that you can use through the mobile site, but AppShopper Social have told me that they have submitted updates to Apple for approval and Apple keeps turning them down. This app has been around for several years and they also have a site that you can use as welll. This was also an app recommended by Anonymouse several years ago, but I am guessing that because this app can send you push notifications letting you know that apps have gone free, this could be the reason why Apple has not allowed the updates through, as it may compete with their App Store's Wish List feature. Granted this is Apple's app store and it is within their rights to approve or deny apps and only Apple knows the reason why the updates were denied, I still feel that this is unfair. As for losing Braille Sonar when iOS 11 is released, it's not really hard to get rid of the app, I'm sure I'll find another one that does the same thing someday. As for AppShopper Social, well I can still configure my account to send me emails with apps gone free, I still wished Apple could get off their high horse and allow some of these apps through. I understand that apps have to be declined for security reasons but for an app like AppShopper, I can't see what harm it could do. But like I said, we don't know the full story of what happens behind closed doors, but it still sucks!

Well, I agree but to a certain degree. Even if we were not in a position to grapple with the issue of 32-Bit apps vs 64-Bit ones, the apps you mentioned would still face some hurdles upon being submitted to Apple for minor bug fixes. It's a fact that developers have to play by Apple's rules though we, as users, might not like some or most of the strategies or decisions apple enforces. For instance, a while ago my powerful ad blocker, AdGuard, had to significantly limit its ad-blocking capabilities outside Safari or face the obvious and painful removal from the App Store. If a developer decides to defy Apple, the app might either remain on the App Store without receiving future updates (which is not ultimately good for us end users) or might be removed altogether which is also akin to an unexpected suicide.
I, for one, have decided to come to terms with the pain of losing my most important 32-Bit app.

Submitted by DrummerGuy on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fortunately, very few apps for me to delete before the release of iOS 11. Games, On the other hand, a little more. She Noire, audioSpeed, and Inquisitor's Heartbeat are just some of the games I have had to say goodbye to. I suppose that the developers have not estimated necessary to update these games and/or don't care about these apps. Well, if they don't care, why should I? Officially ready for the new iOS. Happy updating.

Submitted by Faerie on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I have twenty apps on my phone that are going to go. Of these, I only really use 3, list recorder, as someone else already stated, story spark, an app for writing prompts, and lazy text, an app for quickly getting text from computer to phone clipboard. Games are going to make me sadder though, I'm losing freeq and soul trapper, as well as several of maverick software's food games. Still, I wait eagerly for iOS 11, and plan to replay soul trapper and freeq both some time in the next week.

Submitted by Amir on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

In reply to by Faerie

Wow, 20 32-Bit apps! You're definitely our recordholder!
I'm glad they don't generate a serious challenge to your update process. I vividly remember the buzz surrounding List Recorder as it was released, and it's a bit saddening to see it vanish into the thin air though I don't use it myself.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I am sad to see I will be losing this app with iOS11 update. This app is an app that takes your music and plays it in one-minute intervals and then changes to the next song within your playlist. I use this for my HIIT workouts. Since this format works so well, I am trying to find a replacement. This type of an app is call "power hour".

Any suggestions welcome.


Submitted by Amir on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hi all,

I'm pleased to report that my 32-Bit mobile banking app was updated a few hours ago, and it now runs smoothly on iOS 11.
Thanks to all of you for providing your opinions and solutions.