Future of GL/Tools on older iOS devices?

russellhltn
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Future of GL/Tools on older iOS devices?

Postby russellhltn » Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:02 pm

I wonder what this means for Gospel Library and LDS Tools on older iOS devices? I'm sure nothing in the short run, but it could be a problem before too long. (Perhaps a year or so.) As I recall, Apple had policies that prevented older unsupported devices from getting updates to the apps. That means that they couldn't get updates required to accommodate any new APIs for content delivery.

ZDNet: These iPhones and iPads will all become obsolete on September 13

The following devices will not be able to update to iOS10:
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3rd gen
  • iPad mini
  • iPhone 4s
  • iPod touch 5th gen

I don't think this is limited to iOS. I think Android has similar problems. I just don't remember seeing complaints about it.
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Re: Future of GL/Tools on older iOS devices?

Postby lajackson » Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:06 pm

russellhltn wrote:I don't think this is limited to iOS. I think Android has similar problems. I just don't remember seeing complaints about it.

It doesn't seem to be as intentional with Android, but yes, at certain OS upgrades, there are real challenges. For the most part, though, most apps seem to work for a longer time on older Android OSs.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Future of GL/Tools on older iOS devices?

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:02 pm

The current version of Gospel Library for iOS supports back through iOS 6, which runs on devices that are 7 years old (iPhone 3GS). LDS Tools (the update that was just released 2 days ago) supports back through iOS 8, which runs on devices that are 5 years old (iPhone 4s). That puts the range at 5–7 years of support for a given version of an app. (The most important apps, like Gospel Library, are at the longer edge of that range.) Looking at a few popular apps on the app store (Facebook, Dropbox, Gmail), it looks like 5 years is on par with the industry standard, and 7 years is pretty good.

The Church does make an effort to extend support for the most important apps – especially Gospel Library – since they want to support members around the world, and even where newer devices are easily available, members tend to be more frugal than the general population. However, the farther back is supported, the more fallback/workaround code is required to make it work.

Developers and product managers also pay attention to market adoption of OS versions, as they make decisions on whether or not to drop support for an older operating system. For example, according to this site, less than 2.5% of iOS users are using iOS 6 or below. With another iOS/device release for Apple just a few days away, and Apple's aggressive efforts to encourage people to upgrade, I expect that number will go down further in the next couple of months.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

russellhltn
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Re: Future of GL/Tools on older iOS devices?

Postby russellhltn » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:05 pm

What was the lifespan of the earliest iPads? I seem to remember them as being rather short, and probably where I'm getting my impression from.
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Re: Future of GL/Tools on older iOS devices?

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:40 pm

The 1st-generation iPad was released in 2010 and stopped getting OS updates after iOS 5. iOS 6 was released in 2012 – so it looks like the original iPad only got iOS updates for 2 years. I think it's gotten better since then. But, even when the operating system falls behind, app updates usually still install for a few more years.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.


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