Older iDevices Can Now Download ‘Last Compatible Version’ on App Store
After months of betas, Apple will launch iOS 7 to the public on Wednesday, September 18. Due to its significant UI overhaul, many third party, iOS 7-tuned apps are sure to follow. But what if your iDevice doesn’t support Apple’s latest mobile operating system, and the developer of your favorite app updates the App Store listing to the iOS 7 version? Thankfully, Apple has quietly rolled out a new App Store feature that has you covered.
First discovered by Reddit user “justinbeiberispoop” (I love that name, by the way), the App Store will automatically detect if the version of iOS running on the device is compatible with the app’s minimum requirements and, if not, offer to let the user download an older version of the app, if one is available.
Apple has generally maintained relatively deep compatibility for each new version of iOS when it comes to the iPhone and the iPad, but with iOS 7 compatible only with the fifth generation iPod touch, many users with older devices will certainly benefit by retaining the ability to download older compatible versions of apps in the future.
We’d still like to see Apple offer users the ability to download any previous version of an app on demand, but it’s likely that the company’s recent gesture will be all that users get for the foreseeable future.
For the record, iOS 7 is compatible with the following devices:
- iPhone 4
- iPhone 4s
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5c
- iPhone 5s
- iPad 2
- iPad (third-generation)
- iPad (fourth-generation)
- iPad mini
- iPod touch (fifth-generation)
iOS 7 will be a free update upon its launch on Wednesday. Users with compatible devices will be able to grab the update via iTunes or their iDevice’s over-the-air Software Update feature. Although Apple has not announced a specific time at which the software will become available, previous iOS updates have arrived in the early afternoon (between 12 and 2 p.m. EDT).