back to article iOS apps must do IPv6

All new iOS 9 apps must support IPv6-only networking as of June 1, 2016. It should come as no surprise, since the transition has been in train since WWDC 2015, but Cupertino has announced the cutover date. It should also be not-too-inconvenient, Apple's post notes, because the key NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs already …

  1. Herby Silver badge

    Is it me, or does this look like...

    Someone forcing Windows 10 down our throats.

    IPv6 is probably "too much" for normal use, or it would have been adopted LONG AGO (years).

    For me, there should have been a SIMPLE method to accommodate the IPv4 address space in the new fangled IPv6. Unfortunately the path wasn't that clear, and the address space for IPv6 probably assigned an individual address to every grain of sand on planet earth and have a few left (billions and billions!) over.

    Oh, well at least it isn't a proprietary thing that we don't know much about, or what is going ot happen next.

  2. Richard 12 Silver badge

    So much for Internet of Things

    None of them do IPv6, they barely do IPv4.

    So there can be no "private network" IoT control apps on iOS after this cutoff.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: So much for Internet of Things

      don't you have a firewall blocking stuff from going out of your local network?

      Actually, most ISP supplied routers are shit at this but don't worry, they often don't support IPv6 anyway.

      Ask your ISP about IPv6 and thay say 'next year maybe'. There are some exceptions but that seems to be the case for the majority here in blighty.

      Is this a bad move by Apple? Maybe not. the shift to IPv6 is taking so long that it needs a kick up the proverbial like this to get it moving again.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: So much for Internet of Things

      Yes they can. They just have to do IP4 as well as IP6 even though it would make no sense if the device doesn't do IP6, but anyway.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      This is not a problem

      I think you misunderstand. The statement "iOS apps must be able to support IPv6 only networking" means they have to work in an environment where you don't get an IPv4 address but only get an IPv6 address - something that will probably start happening soon in some countries. You can continue to use IPv4 if that's what you have, the apps just have to be able to run in an IPv6 only environment.

      If you have IoT devices that are IPv4 only, the app that deals with them will be required to support IPv6 per Apple's new guideline. The app will continue to support an IPv4 environment so it won't hurt IoT deployment. Those in an IPv6 only environment won't be able to use those IoT devices, but that has nothing to do with Apple. They'll need a router managing the IPv4 network for the IoT devices, and routing to their IPv6 network to connect to the internet.

  3. Big Chief Running Bare

    IOT management no problem

    @Richard12 others have said this is about apps working in an ipv6 only environment. So possible no change to ipv4 environments.

    But let's assume your mobile operator moves to ipv6 only on compatible iOS devices. Does this break access to ipv4 iot? I say no. So the iOS network will contain NAT64/DNS64 to connect to legacy ipv4 domains. If you are managing devices using URLS in DNS, no problem, automatically translated by DNS64. If you are connecting to IPv4 addresses direct in the iOS devices browser then apple are allegedly bringing you a bump-in-the-stack to synthesise an ipv6 NAT64 destination to pass you via NAT64. Will NAT64 connect you OK? Yes, if it works via NAT44 today it can work via NAT64. If you need a public address today and a NAT free path, then you will have issues, until v6 end to end. But if that was the case we would have all moved to v6 years ago.

  4. David Roberts

    Use of English?

    The difference between "must support IPV6 only" and "must support only IPV6"?

    Then again, sadly you can't always trust El Reg for correct use of English (or even proof reading).

  5. ZeroSum

    Apple still need to support RFC 6877 like Android does

    Apple have implemented bump-in-the-wire support in iOS for working with IPv6-only networks that provide DNS64/NAT64 access to the IPv4 Internet in addition to the direct IPv6 Internet access. The use of central provider NAT44 is ubiquitous in mobile networks. Handsets in IPv6-only networks just use IPv6 instead of IPv4 to get to the NAT.

    Apple have not given a solution to providing the IPv4 part of dual-stack access for devices tethered off an IPv6-only 3GPP connected iOS device. Android (and Windows Phone) can do this using a 464XLAT clat in the handset. The only available solution with iOS is for the handset to bring up a separate tethering APN using a separate 3GPP bearer with IPv4. But this defeats many of the advantages of moving to IPv6 in the packet core. If the operator also doesn't support dual-stack bearers (which is normal in the case of operators using IPv6-only 464XLAT) then IPv6 cannot be given on the tethering LAN (as RFC 7278 requires IPv6) via the separate tethering APN.

    If iOS supported RFC 6877 and RFC 7278 in the cases of: 1) shared handset & tethering APN and 2) separate handset APN and tethering APN then they would be removing a major hurdle to simplifying IPv6 deployment in Mobile Packet Cores.

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