Prepare for iOS 11 and High Sierra for macOS

As always, new versions of operating systems bring changes and new features. But the upcoming new software from Apple brings some major changes that can affect the applications you use daily and may, in some cases, render them completely useless.  It's expected that these new versions will be coming sometime in September.

Specifically, iOS 11 drops support for older 32-bit applications. This means that applications that haven't been updated as 64-bit applications by their authors in the last few years will no longer work. If you're already on iOS 10 and you've been getting messages about an application needing to be updated, then it's likely that the application won't work at all in iOS 11. To see all the 32-bit applications on your iPhone or iPad that need to be updated, go to Settings-General-About. Look at the entry for Applications and the number indicates how many total applications you have installed beyond the stock Apple apps. If there's a ">" character next to that number, tap it and it will display a list of the 32-bit apps that won't work in iOS 11.  My iPhone has about 6 apps and my iPad has 8 apps listed -- most of them are older games.

You don't have to remove these apps right away (unless you know you won't be using them at all), but you should make sure that you have also run all updates in the App Store app. Some of the app developers have been working hard to update their apps to 64-bit versions and those will automatically replace your older 32-bit versions when you update. However, some application developers have decided to not update their applications for whatever reason or, perhaps, they have gone out of business and they don't intend to support their apps moving forward. If that's the case, those 32-bit apps will definitely no longer work when you install iOS 11 so you might want to start looking for alternatives sooner than later.

Also, if any of those apps have data or documents stored in them, you'll need to extract that data BEFORE updating to iOS 11 as you won't be able to launch the app once the new operating system is installed.  How to do that is a entirely different issue where we can help.

macOS High Sierra brings a host of new features including a whole new file system -- Apple File System (APFS). The file system is what is created when a disk is formatted and the format Apple has used for nearly 30 years is called Heirarchial File System (HFS). An update to HFS, HFS+ (also called Extended HFS) has been the current version of the file system since System 8.1 (prior to Mac OS X) in the mid-1990's. APFS brings built-in encryption, faster access to data, and more efficient data management especially when it comes to Solid State Drives (SSD) that have replaced the more traditional mechanical, spinning hard drives in all Apple notebooks and many desktops including iMac, Mac Pro and Mac mini computers.

Now that Apple will be changing to APFS as part of the High Sierra upgrade, it's possible that some older (and even some current) applications might break once your computer is running on APFS. It's up to the manufacturers of the applications to update their programs with APFS support but, most likely, they'll do that only for their most recent versions of their programs. That's why it's really important to be on current versions of your applications. Not only do the software developers add new features but they also fix bugs and make sure their apps are compatible with the latest operating system changes.

The change to APFS is not mandatory but the option to make that conversion during the installation is pre-checked during the setup process and most people don't read the options and just click "Continue...". If you're not sure about APFS or you've already accepted it and have installed macOS 11, you can always revert back to HFS+ but that might be a timely procedure.

There are many new other new features and changes coming in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. You can read this technical document from Apple for more info:  

Of course, your can contact Goodman Consulting to help identify any applications that need updating before you run into surprises yourself. It's time for a backup and some maintenance, isn't it?