One reason Zwift has achieved market dominance is its support of a wide variety of platforms: PC and Mac computers, Android and Apple phones and tablets, and of course AppleTV.
This week Zwift announced via a forum post that they are deprecating older systems “based on industry standard minimums”.
Once deprecated, the following operating systems will no longer be able to run Zwift:
- Android 7 & 8
- iOS 12
Additionally, the Zwift Companion App will no longer support:
- Android 7 & 8
- iOS 11 & 12
The deprecation is slated to occur on August 1, 2022.
Which OS am I using?
Not sure which operating system version you’re using? Here are some quick links to official support pages:
- Which macOS version is installed?
- Find the iOS version on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod
- Check and update your Android version
Our guess is the largest set of Zwifters impacted by this change will be those using older iPads and iPhones.
Once the deprecation occurs, Zwift will require an iPhone 6S or newer to run the game or the Companion app.
On the iPad side of things it’s a bit more confusing, given the various iPad models sold over the years. But here’s the list of iPads which will still run Zwift after the deprecation:
- Any iPad Pro
- iPad Gen 5 or newer
- iPad Air 2 or newer
- iPad Mini 4 or newer
Lastly, for the rare iPod touch user, only the iPod Touch Gen 7 will support Zwift after the deprecation.
Do I really need to upgrade?
Zwift says, “Affected Zwifters currently using these operating systems will see messaging in-game, if applicable, and should also receive notification via email.”
If you are running one of the operating systems listed above, you will need to upgrade your Zwift device before August 1, 2022. To be clear: if you fail to upgrade, Zwift and/or Companion app will no longer run on your system after August 1.
Why the change?
While Zwift has historically supported a wide range of devices, they cannot support aging hardware forever. Deprecation decisions like this are standard practice in the gaming industry, as supporting old hardware and operating systems requires additional development time and can hamstring the implementation of new features.
Essentially, Zwift is saying “If the maker of your device doesn’t support it with current OS updates, neither can we.” And that’s pretty fair. Chances are if you’re still using one of the deprecated devices above, you’ve noticed that certain apps will no longer run on the device, as more and more apps require current OS versions.
Consider these release dates for soon-to-be-deprecated Apple devices:
- iPhone 6 went on sale September 19, 2014
- iPad Air was released November 1, 2013
- iPad Mini 3 was released October 22, 2014
- iPad Gen 4 was released November 2, 2012
And here are release dates for the macOS and Android versions which will be deprecated (one can assume any hardware stuck on these operating system versions is at least a few years older than the release dates below):
- macOS 10.12 was released September 20, 2016
- macOS 10.12 was released September 25, 2017
- Android 7 was released August 22, 2016
- Android 8 was released August 21, 2017
Most Zwifters probably have a device in their home which will run Zwift after the deprecations kick in: a newer iPhone or Android phone, a tablet, AppleTV, or a decent desktop or laptop computer.
If you need to purchase an upgraded device for your Zwifting, here are two recommendations at different budget levels:
- Most affordable: 2021 Apple TV 4K (32GB, 5th Gen): only $170USD on Amazon, the latest AppleTV is the most affordable Zwift device on the market today. It’s not perfect – the remote can be a bit of a pain. But it’s dead simple to use, and quite stable. There’s a good reason why a huge number of Zwifters use AppleTV!
- Best gaming experience: Windows PC with a strong graphics card, fast single-core CPU performance, and an SSD drive. Zwift will run on just about any PC that can run Windows 10, but for premium Zwift performance (ideally connected to a big screen TV) you’ll want a dedicated Nvidia graphics card (1060 or higher), an Intel CPU, and a solid-state drive. Here’s one tower on Amazon that would deliver great Zwift performance without costing an arm and a leg. (For more info on Zwifting on a PC, read “Zwift on PC: The Ultimate Guide to Running Zwift at Its Very Best“.)
Questions or Comments?
Will there be a fix to run android 11?? The app is incompatible with Samsung S21 o/s.
I have an oldish iMac that I use only for Zwift that might fall prey to this (I’ll have to check next time I ride) and I say it’s all for the best! Zwift can’t make the app work better if they’re devoting countless development hours dragging my old machine with it.
The newest iMac that Apple doesn’t support past 10.13 is the 2011 model.
Apple stopped supporting 10.13 in the fall of 2020.
You can run modern versions of macOS on many older macs even though Apple doesn’t support it, by using a free software package called OpenCore Legacy Patcher. You can find tutorials for it on YouTube (eg, from Mr Macintosh)
Thanks for this, I’d never heard of Open Core but after the summer off Zwift I found I was out of support on an old iMac I only use for Zwift but a few hours later I’m back running the latest version.
I have a Samsung galaxy 7 edge. OS 8. Phone is in perfect working order. I don’t want to buy a new phone. I do use a laptop for zwift. Phone for the app. So I can’t use the app later in the year?
Same here. My Android 8 phone works perfectly. I can understand the main app to be cut off, but why disable the companion app for Android 8? I hope they reconsider.
Yep, agree. “Chances are if you’re still using one of the deprecated devices above, you’ve noticed that certain apps will no longer run on the device” <- nope. every app still works fine.
'“If the maker of your device doesn’t support it with current OS updates, neither can we.” And that’s pretty fair.'
Lots of apps keep working after OS security updates stop for a long time, it's one of those statements that sounds fair, but the reality of the situation is far from what the statement says.
Same for me. Still have support for all my other apps. Companion seems like it ought not to need a super modern device.
If the Zwift Companion App stops working on my Android 8 phone then I’ll stop using Zwift
The fact that everything works perfectly doesn’t mean you’re getting update for you app. Most app will continue working but wont be updated. Unfortunately, since Zwift is online multiplayer, it needs everyone to be on the same version of the app. And supporting deprecated OS is very demanding for a company so their decision makes perfect sense.
Oh our apps are getting updated, and we’re talking about the companion app, not the game client, so that point is completely irrelevant. You say “it’s demanding”, please back that up, which APIs do they need that aren’t available? It’s one of those sentences that’s vague and sounds good but the details and reality may not match up.
Many older phones can run newer versions of Android by installing a custom ROM (eg, LineageOS, but there are many others)
Hoping this eventually translates into something better than the “Basic” graphic profile making its way to iOS. Particularly disappointing on M1 (soon to be M2) devices!
I am reading this on a PC that is running Windows 8. Boooooooo!
Windows 8 has been deprecated for a while now.
Probably for the best. I bet they have spent far too much time trying to support out-dated OSs when they could have been developing the game in general.
Galaxy S7 user here. My phone including all the apps is still running without any trouble, although Android has stopped supporting the OS 2 years ago.
Sorry, Zwift, but I’m not going to be a littlerbug and throw away a phone that is still doing its job perfectly, just to be able to run a companion app.
After all, there are competitors who don’t even need a companion app. It will be interesting to see if running Zwift without a companion app is still the great experience it used to be.
If android devices without Google Mobile Services/Google Play Store, Zwift Companion can not login since ver3.34.0.
My smart phone without GMS/Play Store, I used to install the new version via apk
As a software developer, I can say there is a financial cost associated with supporting old devices. Additionally, they hold you back from implementing new features, performance improvements, etc. New code and new hardware can do more if you do not have to write code for the lowest common denominator or support multiple branches of code at event higher cost. If we want new features, more performance, more development time moved from supporting legacy devices to developing enhancements, you have to drop the old stuff.
It also makes testing much more complicated!
Nothing to do with them laying off half the staff then? Why no longer working on chromebooks after latest update?
Zwift has never supported Chromebooks in their list of compatible hardware. Used to be you had to jump thru hoops side loading it, etc to get it to work.
AppleTV remote is a HUGE p.i.t.a…that said, because I couldn’t believe it was THAT bad I scored one on Woot.com for $99…boy were all the naysayers right! Until I can go back to running it on my iPhone (which I use for the Companion App), I have learned to STFU and log-in EARLY for events to ensure I can get to all the setting changes I may want to make pre-ride. When I had 2 iPhones (work/home) I enjoyed the ease of hopping on at the last minute and still get everything rolling smoothly for an enjoyable experience! I used… Read more »
I have an IPad Air. appears like I can’t run Zwift anymore. iOS 12.
Do do I need to cancel my subscription?
I have a Samsung galaxy a13 less that a year old and it not even supported for zwift
Same here, it used to work perfectly but now I can’t download the Zwift app because it’s not compatible anymore. Haven’t found a way to work around it, the hardware should be able to handle it…