WhatsApp has updated its app requirements, meaning that all users must now run at least iOS 10, as released in 2016.
That means that iPhone 4s users can no longer run the popular messaging app. Instead, anyone who wants to use WhatsApp must have an iPhone 5 or later. Otherwise WhatsApp will stop working.
In all likelihood, this change isn’t going to mean a great deal in terms of practicalities for visitors of a tech blog. If you’ve bought a new iPhone any time in the past nine years, you’ll still be able to use WhatsApp.
Where it could make a difference is with older, less tech-savvy users. Purely anecdotally, I’ve got several family members in their seventies who use their iPhones infrequently — and still have iPhones from a decade ago. These work perfectly fine in terms of hardware but, as updates like this one show, the devices they are using may no longer be able to access some of the apps they use regularly.
According to Apple’s most recent developer figures, just 8% of iPhone users are currently using a version of iOS older than iOS 13. (The furthest back Apple’s records goes.) Third-party analytics Mixpanel, meanwhile, suggests that 0.13% of users are currently using iOS 9. Still, when you’re talking about more than 1 billion active iPhones worldwide, just a tiny fraction of that is a significant number of people.
If you’re among the users no longer able to use WhatsApp, you can back up your WhatsApp chat history with iCloud.