Apple’s tradition of dropping support for older devices and discontinuing iOS updates will most likely continue on with the release of iOS 8.
Apple recently discontinued selling the iPhone 4 in several countries, including India and Brazil. Of course, it was discontinued in the US once the iPhone 5s was launched, but was kept on sale in developing markets as a cheap smartphone option. However, the older iPhone is slowly disappearing from the landscape.
Because of that, Apple’s upcoming iOS 8 will most likely not support the iPhone 4. Infamous jailbreak hacker and developer i0n1c says that the iPhone 4 being discontinued once and for all “is a good indicator for iOS 8 not supporting iPhone 4 anymore.”
The iPhone 4 does support iOS 7, but barely. It doesn’t offer some of the newer features, like turn-by-turn navigation, panorama photo mode, AirPlay mirroring or even Siri. Plus, the iOS 7 interface on the iPhone 4 has been toned down to the barebones, and many of the good-looking elements of iOS 7 aren’t present on the iPhone 4, simply because the older smartphone is too slow to handle it all.
Plus, iPhone 4 users have complained about the performance of iOS 7 on the older device, so an update to iOS 8 may not even be a favor in the first place.
Of course, the iPhone 4 is close to turning four years old, which is quite the age when it comes to smartphones, so we think it’s a good time for Apple to lay the iPhone 4 to rest.
What Devices Will iOS 8 Support?
Out of many of the iOS 8 rumors that we’ve heard about over the last couple of months, this is something that hasn’t been brought up a lot. However, if Apple actually decides to cut the iPhone 4 out of the picture for iOS 8, then most likely the iPad 2 will go with it, seeing has how they both sport much older processors.
This means that the oldest devices that iOS 8 will most likely support will be the iPhone 4s and the third-generation iPad. iOS 7 runs surprisingly well on the iPhone 4s, so we think it’d be more than possible to have iOS 8 come to the iPhone 4s.
As for iPads, it might get a little interesting. The first-generation iPad mini isn’t even two years old yet, but it sports the same processor as the iPad 2. Apple rarely discontinues software support for a device that’s not even two years old yet, so it’ll be interesting to see how the iPad mini fits into the company’s plans for iOS 8.
It’s possible that iOS 8 will be toned down a bit on older devices, like the iPhone 4s and the iPad mini — similar to how iOS 7 is on the iPhone 4, but it’d be hard to believe if the first-gen iPad mini got the green light for iOS 8 while the iPhone 4 is left out.
What’s Next for the iPhone 4?
Considering that the iPhone 4 is now reaching its official end of its life, even in developing countries, it’s safe to say that it will join the ranks of the iPhone 3GS and older — not entirely forgotten, but old enough that it becomes one of Apple’s archaic products, and something that makes you say, “Remember when?”.
However, the iPhone 4 will most likely live on quite successfully in the selling market, like on eBay and Craigslist. It’s a device that still quite relevant to users who are on a budget, and the phone’s design is still very unique and modern.
The iPhone 4 marked the first time that Apple drastically changed the design of the iPhone, going from a rounded piece of plastic, to an elegant, squared-off design that featured glass and aluminum, which no other phone manufacturer was doing at the time. It certainly set the bar for smartphone design, and it’s a design that Apple still relies on for the most part today, although that might finally change with the iPhone 6.
New Features in iOS 8
From the rumors we’ve been hearing over the last couple of months, iOS 8 will mostly just come with a handful of new features, while the design will stay mostly the same from iOS 7.
Rumors point to new Siri features that will unlock third-party app support just slightly, although built-in Apple apps will still have the advantage.
iOS 8 will most likely also come with several new stock apps, including Healthbook, which looks to be Apple’s entrance into the health and fitness industry. With Healthbook, users will be able to monitor and track various activities throughout the day and watch what they eat.
Other new apps coming to iOS 8 might also be iOS versions of OS X’s Preview and TextEdit — the latter of which won’t necessarily replace the Notes app, but could just be a supplemental app for heavier typers.
In any case, iOS 8 looks to be a nice improvement over iOS 7 while still keeping the bold, new design intact.