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?