Any consideration that Apple was anything but a hardware company flew out the window a few years when prices were removed from most of the software we’ve come to use, know, and love. macOS? Free with every Mac, of course, and upgrades are free. iOS? Free with every iPhone and iPad, yes, and upgrades to the latest and greatest are free.
That means the iPhone, iPad, or Mac you bought last year or the year before that or even three years or so ago actually has more capability and functionality that it did brand new, thanks to the iOS and macOS upgrades. Well, it’s late spring, summer is on the way, and by fall we’ll have new versions of macOS in High Sierra, and iOS 11.
If your Mac ran macOS Sierra with no problem, it should also run macOS High Sierra. That means there are MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac models dating back to 2010 that will run macOS High Sierra which will last until well into 2018.
What about iPhone and iPad customers?
That’s a different tale, but not a bad one. If your iPhone or iPad is not on this list then you’re stuck with whatever your device is running now.
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 5s
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd gen)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st gen)
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Air
- iPad (5th gen.)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad mini 3
- iPad mini 2
- iPod touch (6th gen)
How Apple handles iOS and macOS upgrades is a telling story. First, the Mac is mature, and isn’t getting a giant list of new features. Maybe we’re at the zenith of personal computing for notebooks and desktops, Windows 10 and Chromebook touchscreens notwithstanding. macOS Sierra looks more like a refinement version than a giant leap forward.
That contrasts sharply with iOS 11 which kisses 32-bit apps and devices goodbye. If your iOS device isn’t on the list, it’s not 64-bit and it’s not going to see the light of iOS 11’s new 64-bit day. Older 32-bit apps won’t make the cut and won’t work on iOS 11. Already you’re seeing pop up notifications from older apps.
Still, these new upgrades tell us Apple cares more for the customer base than Google cares about Android users, or cell phone companies and manufacturers care about their customers. iOS 10, due to be replaced by iOS 11 around the end of summer or early fall, runs on more than 86-percent of all iPhones and iPads. Android’s latest version, released last year at about the same time as iOS 10, only runs on 7-percent of Android devices.
Those are telling numbers.
That means your new iPhone and iPad will get iOS improvements for years to come while Android smartphone owners live in a toxic hellstew of poor security and almost no path to upgrade.
Remember, just because your Mac won’t run macOS High Sierra or your iPhone or iPad won’t upgrade to iOS 11 doesn’t mean they’re outdated or obsolete. If they still work, and many of them do, they work better and have more functionality than when new. Time marches on, though. The latest and greatest is around the corner.