With every new generation of iOS, Apple always drops an older generation of device. As Apple preps to push out iOS 7 to the public, it has said that they are going to drip the iPhone 3GS from the iOS update cycle. While Apple decision to drop a device usually means that the device will become almost useless as people running the device are left unable to download new apps, the company is doing something to help those keep their device running for just a little bit longer.
Recently, Apple updated its iOS App Store to allow users to download an older version of the app. When a person with an older device tries to install an app, the iOS App Store let users know that the latest version of the app is not compatible with the current version of iOS they are running and offer to download the last compatible version of the app.
While this addition to the iOS app store would settle the worrying issues of older devices, which would be left behind in the iOS road map, it also settles the issues of people who can upgrade to the new version of iOS but decides not to upgrade to the newer version.
Although this may seem good news for older devices, it does not mean all older apps will work correctly. Apps that rely on third party APIs may have some issues that still make the app useless. We tested a couple apps on an older iPod Touch second generation with a couple of applications that require third party API (like Twitter/Facebook); of all the older versions of the app had limited to no functionality as the API were not present or not functioning correctly.