Dear Aunt TUAW, I'm still running iOS4 on my 3GS and have a great app, which I told my teen to download. He dilly-dallied, of course, and meanwhile the app was updated to [be compatible only with] iOS 5. Can I sync my app from iTunes to his iPod 1 and iPad 1? Why is there still no way to buy & download old versions of apps from Apple!? Your loving niece, Em Dear Em, Auntie doesn't see that happening. The overhead costs on this -- not to mention the security and compatibility issues -- would be a nightmare. It's hard enough for developers to try to find their 85% sweet spot where they cover as much of the deployed ecosystem as reasonable. To ask them to support outdated distributions too, well, that's not going to happen. For the most part, people update their firmware pretty quickly after release. Older devices (the iPhone, the 3G, and in a few months likely the 3GS, as well as a number of iPods) fall off the support list for good reasons. A natural end-of-life is to be expected. And for that matter, why shouldn't your teen update to iOS 5? It's supported, you know. Apple is in the business of selling up-to-date devices. It assumes you'll take advantage of those for 18-24 months after purchase. As it is, the 3GS was released in June 2009. Assuming that iOS 6 is not supported on it (and Auntie think's that's a fair guess), it will have had three years of active deployed life. Admittedly, that's a bit of a blow to anyone who took takes advantage of AT&T's deal, last November that clearanced still active, selling those older phones out for $0 with a two-year contract commitment. Those users will still have about a year and a half to go on no-longer-supported devices, but you can easily assume that most software devs will continue to support iOS 5 to at least November of this year. [As pointed out in the comments below, AT&T is still selling the iPhone 3GS today. -Ed.] In the end, no, you cannot buy and download old app versions from Apple, but you can always upgrade software (to a point) and hardware to stay in the current loop. Hugs, Auntie T.Dear Aunt TUAW: Why can't I buy older software for my early iDevices? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments read more..