WhatsApp has warned that it will drop support for iOS 10 and iOS 11 devices later this year, which means iPhone 5 and 5c owners will need to find an alternative way of using the app. Those with newer handsets, meanwhile, may need to update to a newer version of iOS.
wabetainfo.com was the first site to report the plan, which was corroborated by information on the WhatsApp support site. It explains: “Currently, we provide support for and recommend using the following devices: Android running OS 4.1 and newer; iPhone running iOS 12 and newer; KaiOS 2.5.0 and newer, including JioPhone and JioPhone 2.”
Despite what it says on the support page, owners of iOS 10 and 11 devices are still currently able to use WhatsApp, but have started receiving warnings that they should “update to the latest version of iOS to continue using WhatsApp.” These messages indicate that the change is scheduled to happen on October 24. From that point on, anyone running an older version of iOS will be unable to use WhatsApp.
The move–or something similar to it involving iOS 10 only–was rumored towards the end of last year but didn’t end up happening. But WhatsApp has evidently decided that it needs to act this year. “To choose what to stop supporting, every year we, like other technology companies, look at which devices and software are the oldest and have the fewest number of people still using them,” it explains in the support article. “These devices also might not have the latest security updates, or might lack the functionality required to run WhatsApp.”
Even if you’re not currently running iOS 12 or later, the chances are that you will be able to update your iPhone to something newer. The problem comes if you’ve got an iPhone 5 or 5c, since these handsets aren’t able to install iOS 12. They’re pretty old, so if WhatsApp is critical for you it might be worth buying a new iPhone.