Minimum System Requirement Changes Coming Fall 2022

We are working hard on the next update of Drafts. As usual, we try to keep Drafts on top of the latest capabilities and features offered by new operating system releases from Apple…and this year is no different, with exciting new opportunities for Drafts to shine on iOS 16 and macOS 13 (Ventura).

We have also worked hard to retain backward compatibility with previous operating system releases but periodically need to review and update our requirements to keep the app moving forward and working reliably across supported platforms.

To that end, beginning with the release of Drafts 33 this Fall (likely alongside Apple’s release of the new OS versions), Drafts’ new minimum system requirements will be:

  • iOS/iPadOS 15 or greater (previously iOS 14 or greater)
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or greater (previously macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or greater)
  • watchOS 7.1 or greater (no change)

If you have devices that cannot be updated to meet these requirements, you may be able to continue to use a previous version of Drafts on those devices, but sync will not continue to be supported to avoid potential conflicts as updates may change the data requirements.


not even a “basic” sync?

The sync is based on a database, so if the data requirements change, the structure of the database changes.

Sync is therefore just ‘sync’, there’s no graduated levels - the database either syncs and is usable, syncs and is unusable with old versions/introduces corruption, or does not sync (remaining usable on old versions).

and syncing between old versions, on both iOs and Mac?

If one instance was updated (don’t forget there’s a web capture version too) then that could require and apply the database changes. As the sysnc then occurs, that’s where conflicts, or even worse, corruption, could occur. That’s obviously the big concern. I’m sure anyone would rather their data was availabel and untouched rather than lost.

I guess it may be possible to build something in to lock and unlock the database from being upgraded to thus lock out using an upgraded version of Drafts. How much effort that is, and how much of Drafts’ user base would require it, I have no idea.

Please note that this is just my best guess at the scenario. I don’t know the underlying code or much of the general under the hood stuff beyond having explored the database a bit (by that I mean I’ve scripted reading of data from it, never writing to it). But, I would imagine that Greg has considered his options as maintaining a large and happy user base is definitely a key aspect of what he does. There may be architectural limitations or constraints in continuing to evolve Drafts that underpin the requirement.

If we do not move forward, we are not able to take advantage of new APIs in many areas, which limits the quality and usefulness of the app for the vast majority of users who are on newer operating systems.

Note that the operating systems we are dropping support for are no longer supported by Apple, either. They have been end-of-life’d and do not get security or other updates.


got it… I should buy a new iPad either