Apple has been sabotaging devices for years with software "upgrades" that slow every iPhone and iPad except the very latest model. It's a strategy called planned obsolescence, and its one of the ways that Apple and other gadget makers are getting so filthy rich while the planet and everyone else pays.
iOS 11.2.1 was released in early December. Anyone with a perfectly functional iPhone or iPad bought two years ago would do well to ignore the prompts to "Install Now". But Apple will be pushing upgrade notices to millions of those customers anyway, because every frustrated user with a sluggish device is another sales prospect.
Apple -- the most valuable company in the world -- could easily extend the life of older devices. The company simply has to stop aggressively pushing software "upgrades" to devices which will become significantly slower as a result. And "downgrades" need to be possible without computer hacking skills, so iPhone and iPad users can always get back to the way things were before if needed.
Tell Apple to ditch planned obsolescence, and help customers who want to extend the life of their iPhone or iPad -- to save money and save the planet.
Apple plays up its green credentials, but the truth is that Apple only began investing in renewable energy, and phasing out toxic chemicals when public pressure became too strong to ignore. People power did it before, and we can do it again.
One weird trick to install apps on older iPhones and iPads
Apps for iPhone and iPads often seem to require the latest version of iOS, but there's an undocumented trick to download older versions of apps if your device is running on an older version of iOS. It won't work with all apps, and Apple won't tell you about this method. But here's how it works:
- Open iTunes on your computer, and search for the app you want for your iPhone or iPad. Make sure you are using the same iTunes account you use on your device.
- Now click to download the app to your computer, but do not attach your iPhone or iPad to the computer.
- On your iPhone or iPad, go to the App Store and search for the app. Tap the cloud icon to download and install the app onto your device.
- Finally - if you are in luck - you will see a prompt that says there is an older version of the app you can use. Tap download and you're done!
Weird tricks like this should not be necessary. But they are proof that older iPhones and iPads could last longer if Apple would ditch planned obsolescence.
Slate. 21 December 2017.
Tech In Asia. 22 March 2016.
Quartz. 3 October 2013.