Install last compatible version of apps on older iOS devices

Still have an iPhone 3G or an older iPad or iPod touch lying around, but find yourself unable to install modern apps because the latest versions aren’t compatible with the version of iOS running on your device? Apple’s just updated the App Store to let you download older versions of apps.

For instance if you have a second generation iPod touch, it won’t be able to run any operating system later than iOS 4.2. So now you can download the last version of many apps that were known to work with iOS 4.2 on that iPod touch.

Older iOS apps

The move comes just before the launch of iOS 7, Apple’s latest mobile operating system. While iOS 7 will ship on the latest iPhone models and it’ll be compatible with some recent iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices it’ll also leave some older hardware behind.

The good news is that this means older devices may continue to stay useful for a bit longer. The bad news is that developers don’t just update apps to make the compatible with newer versions of the operating system. They also deliver bug fixes and new features in updates — so if you’ve got an older device you’ll be able to continue downloading apps, but you won’t necessarily get everything offered in the latest versions.

via Engadget and reddit

  • BoloMKXXVIII

    This is a great move! Not everyone wants to be on that two year treadmill. I hope Google decides they must compete and offer older versions of apps for older Android phones/tablets.

    • Bill Smith

      Presumably, the Apple store will pull an older version of an app if it turns out to have a significant security bug.

    • Cal Rankin

      I would like that, but for older unsupported versions of Android, you still have the freedom to get the older app somewhere other than the Play Store, if you’re willing to at least check the source first.

  • Tom

    Can you download older versions even when you’re on the latest version of iOS?

    • bob

      It’s the last compatible version for your iOS version.

  • Matthew

    Nice. I was just thinking yesterday it would be great if the Play store allowed you to download the most recent version prior to dev update. Far too often I see a review stating “The latest update broke the app!”

    I realize that’s not the same thing as this but it would be nice ;)