Tons of users are complaining about the compatibility of 32-bit apps on iOS 11. Let’s find out if it is really possible to use these applications on Apple’s latest operating system.
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Apple removes 32-bit binaries from iOS 11
Apple has completely removed 32-bit library and associated binaries from iOS 11. This firmware can no longer run applications like Flappy Bird that require the aging 32-bit architecture.
Some users erroneously thought that the reason behind this was restrictions put in place by Apple.
However, a few experienced developers looked into the app support issue and confirmed that this wasn’t the case.
You can test this out yourself by installing LowerInstall Cydia tweak on your jailbreak.
Apple totally wiped off anything remotely 32-bit from the kernel. Therefore, users can only use apps that can run on 64-bit architecture.
According to security researcher Billy Ellis, the “dyld_shared_cache_armv7” file responsible for running such applications is no longer present in this firmware.
iOS 11 now only contains ARM64_dyld_cachem, which can run 64-bit applications.
Can we ever get 32-bit support on iOS 11?
Nothing is impossible in the iOS ecosystem thanks to the relentless efforts of jailbreak developers.
We can still have support for legacy apps provided we get something really powerful in the future.
This scenario obviously rules out the tweak route because it simply is not powerful enough for this sort of upward compatibility.
Once a BootROM exploit goes public, hackers can flash a custom ROM with the requisite 32-bit library. Users can then run incompatible apps on iOS 11.
This is just a concept and will probably never be realized, ever. BootROM exploits are way too valuable to be released publicly now.
A 32-bit can theoretically run on the 64-bit architecture, but you can’t run 64-bit apps on 32-bit devices.
The idea of an emulator seems quite plausible and a developer might consider developing it in the near future.
Remember, an emulator or simulator will come nowhere close to an operating system running apps natively.
If such an emulator does come to fruition, it will be very slow for the reasons I mentioned above.
Update apps for 64-bit
The better alternative would be to coerce the developer into updating the app for 64-bit support. You can also try updating the app yourself if it’s open source.
If that’s not the case, you will certainly miss out older paid apps that you purchased earlier.
Again, everything is just “theory” right now and we are yet to see any advancement towards any of these alternatives.
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