As developers, we’ve been lamenting the continued existence of the inferior A5 system-on-a-chip for the past couple of years. Both iOS 8 and iOS 9 continued to support iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and iPad Mini 1 — devices that struggled to run the OS itself. I had hoped that iOS 9 would finally drop support for these less powerful devices, but it didn’t. Today, we can finally say goodbye to the A5. Well, almost.

A5 SoC

The A5 system-on-a-chip / Source

iOS 10

iOS 10 has dropped support for these older A5-powered devices — a reason for celebration. However, most developers support at least the two most recent versions of iOS, per Apple’s recommendations. This means we’ll been writing modern apps on modern OSes for 6-year-old or 7-year-old devices, depending on when you drop support for iOS 9. But the good news is, once you are ready to drop iOS 9 support in your app, you can say goodbye to the A5 forever. Oh, and you can also say goodbye to 3.5-inch screen sizes. Rejoice.

According to Apple’s press release, here are the oldest devices that will run iOS 10:

This leaves us with a new baseline of the 32-bit A6 SoC. This is better for the moment, but the A6 already 4 years old. If iOS 11 continues to support the A6, then we’ll likely return to the situation where the software has substantially out-paced the hardware. Again, we’ll have sluggish devices that probably shouldn’t be running the latest OS in the first place. Again, we’ll be supporting 6-year-old hardware. But, maybe it won’t be so bad.

Of course, when the day comes to drop the A6 we can say goodbye to 32-bit CPUs on iOS, and that will be great.

Note: I realize that perhaps 6 years isn’t that old for other platforms, but iOS moves so fast.