whatsapp messenger update
The WhatsApp Messenger app icon seen on an iPhone screen (Max Pixel)

WhatsApp is clearly the most popular cross-platform instant messaging application with more than a billion users around the world. Naturally there are a lot of iPhone users on board as well, but the Facebook-owned messaging app has updated its FAQs section to reflect changes to the iOS devices it supports.

According to WhatsApp's latest update, support for iPhones running iOS 7 or older versions will soon be withdrawn. It is also worth noting that devices running on iOS 7.1.2 or earlier will have limited support, which does not allow users to re-install the app or re-verify a number, along with several new features that won't be making the cut.

"WhatsApp for iPhone requires iOS 8 or later. On iOS 7.1.2, you can no longer create new accounts or reverify existing accounts. If WhatsApp is currently active on your iOS 7.1.2 device, you will be able to use it until February 1, 2020. iOS 6 and older are no longer supported," reads the official statement.

WhatsApp also notes that it won't be able to offer support for jailbroken or modified versions of iPhone's OS. It is recommended users upgrade their iPhones to the latest available version and in case the support for it is stopped by Apple then the only alternative is to upgrade the iPhone itself.

With the latest change in effect, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and the original iPhone released back in 2007 won't support WhatsApp. But it is quite impressive to see iPhone 4S, which is 7 years old, still running iOS 8.4.1, hence supporting WhatsApp.

Apple's latest iOS version, iOS 12, was launched alongside the new iPhones this month. The iOS 12 support is extended till iPhone 5S, which was released in 2013. But Apple's upgrade cycle and support is nothing like Android. According to the company's developer page, 85 percent of iOS devices are already running iOS 11, 10 percent are on iOS 10 and only 5 percent are still stuck on older versions.

WhatsApp's decision to withdraw support for older iOS versions will only affect a minority. Unless you're on an older iOS version, this update shouldn't worry you, but it is always best to stay updated with the latest software as it offers better security and features.