• As of this week, WhatsApp no longer supports the Apple iOS9 operating system. That means anyone with an iPhone 4 is out of luck.
  • And anyone who hasn't updated their iPhone in a couple of years may run into trouble too.
  • WhatsApp updated its list of supported platforms, just as it released a software update that showed it would move to iOS 10 and up only. 
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

As of this week WhatsApp no longer supports older iPhones, officially. Meanwhile, a software release shows that policy change is already being practically implemented – which suggests Apple users long overdue for an upgrade can expect to be cut off from the service.

WhatsApp's official list of supported operating systems now starts at Apple's iOS 10, as opposed to the iOS 9 still listed a week ago. (The other two platforms supported by WhatsApp are unchanged, with Android OS 4.0.3 and newer supported, and KaiOS 2.5.1 and higher supported.)

That confirms a report this week by specialist WhatsApp watchers WABetaInfo that the latest version of WhatApp's software for Apple phones, version 2.21.50, has dropped support for iOS 9.

Both those iPhone operating systems are ancient, in cellphone terms. The latest version is iOS 14, and very few people have neglected to upgrade their software at least once since the launch of iOS 10 in 2016.

But the once hugely popular iPhone 4 can not be upgraded to iOS 10, making it impossible to formally use within WhatsApp's supported ecosystem. Those with an iPhone 5, iPhone 6, or original iPhone SE – who somehow managed to avoid software updates – could also be affected.

The previous version of WhatsApp's software continues to work on iPhones, which means users of iOS 9 are not yet unable to use WhatsApp. But besides the position that WhatsApp "encourage you to always use the latest version", it also eventually blocks the use of old versions.

"Please note if you received a message that isn't supported by your version of WhatsApp, you'll need to update WhatsApp," it warns.

Here's how to check if your version of Apple's iOS operating system is still supported by WhatsApp:

On an iPhone, go to settings by tapping the gear-style icon on the home screen. Go to "general", then to "about". If the number under "software version" is 10 or higher, you are okay.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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