If you own an Apple device running an older version of iOS, macOS, watchOS, or tvOS, you’re about to lose access to most of the company’s services. According to a new report, Apple is about to cut access to everything other than iCloud on devices running software older than five years.
Twitter user Stella Fudge, widely known for posting moderately accurate Apple leaks under another account before apparently retiring a couple of years ago, issued the warning today, which was confirmed by iSoftware Updates. The change will come in early May, Fudge claims, and be signaled with a notification prompting the user to upgrade to a newer version of their OS. The software versions about to lose support are between five and six years old.
Considering how specific this prediction is, we’re inclined to believe it. Fudge doesn’t appear to be claiming that iOS 11 as a whole will no longer be supported, but merely versions 11 through 11.2.6; the final version of that OS was 11.4.1. Likewise, macOS High Sierra, which went all the way up to 10.13.6, is set to lose support only up to 10.13.3. This means that users should be able to update to a supported version of the same OS, and is unlikely to force anyone to buy a new device.
Fudge doesn’t specify which aspects of Apple’s ecosystem count as services in this context, but it’s likely to include Siri, Maps, Find My, Family Sharing, Apple Pay, Apple Books, the various app stores, and the paid-for subscription services such as Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and Apple TV+. More seriously, it could include FaceTime and iMessage, two of the company’s most popular features.
It’s also not clear where the information comes from–there isn’t even a vague “according to people familiar with the company’s plans”–nor whether this signals a return to the leaking game for Fudge. But as MacRumors notes, the claim appears to be at least partially corroborated by a support document warning of such an eventuality, but without specifying which software versions will lose support for the company’s services. That document mentions “the App Store, Siri, and Maps,” but implies that other services will be included in the cull.
Read more about How long Apple supports iPhones for and How long Apple supports Macs for.