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Minimum hardware specs (iOS)

Started by arlo, March 21, 2017, 10:19:03 AM

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Someone just asked me about the minimum hardware specs for BandHelper and Set List Maker. In my experience, on the iOS platform, the combination of iOS age and hardware age is the main factor determining performance and stability. Apple typically allows you to install major new iOS versions until a device is 4 years old, but I have seen that stopping iOS updates when a device is 2-3 years old is better.

For example, you can install iOS 9 on an iPad 2, but the iPad 2 was 4 1/2 years old when iOS 9 was released, and I have seen iPad 2's running very sluggishly on iOS 9. Stopping at iOS 8 (a difference of 3 1/2 years) or even iOS 7 would be better on that device.

The iPad 3 is also limited to iOS 9, and was 3 1/2 years old when iOS 9 was released. I have an iPad 3 that I kept at iOS 8 (a difference of 2 1/2 years), and it is a little sluggish, but stable. I have heard from several people experiencing crashes or memory-related rendering issues with iPad 3's running iOS 9 and iPad 4's running iOS 10.

Looking ahead, this suggests that anyone with an iPad Air or older should avoid installing iOS 11 when it is released later this year, even if Apple allows it.

My apps typically support iOS versions going back three years (I currently support iOS 8-10). The three year support window for my apps plus my suggested three year hardware gap means you could have a device up to six years old and still have a fully supported app. After six years, you really should get a new device. ;-)

By the way, Apple does not allow you to downgrade your iOS version, and does not allow you to install older versions than the latest supported version for your device. So if, for example, you have an iPad 4 running iOS 8 now, your only options are to stay on iOS 8 or upgrade to iOS 10. And if you do upgrade to iOS 10, you can't change your mind and go back. So it's best to consider your upgrade options each year, because the previous year's option might become unavailable for your device.



For everyone's information, Apple today announced a new model iPad at $329 retail price, it will cost about the same as some refurbished older models, and will run the latest OS.