Traditionally, when Apple has brought out a new release of the iOS operating system, it has had to abandon support for older devices as the software updates become too advanced for the more primitive hardware to handle. However, according to 9TO5Mac, the Cupertino company is working to construct the next release, iOS 9, in such a way that it can actually improve, rather than hamper, even devices as old as the iPhone 4S and first generation iPad Mini.
Whereas Apple would typically build many advanced features into a new release of iOS before removing a few features for the older hardware following testing, this time, the company has reportedly decided to first put together a “core version” of iOS 9 that will operate well on this hardware before considering what features will be enabled on what devices. This should help to ensure compatibility with even devices running the aging A5 processor.
If this is indeed the shape of things to come, we think it is good news. The continuation of regular software updates, however incremental, for older devices should give users of these devices the peace of mind that would come from continued security enhancements in particular, while encouraging these users to keep hold of these devices for longer before they feel the need to spend money on replacements. We expect more concrete details about iOS 9 in the coming weeks and months.