Apple to block iMessage, Maps & FaceTime on older iPhones

If you’re still using an older Apple device, it may be time to consider an upgrade, as a recent leak hints that the tech giant could soon discontinue support for your device on its online services.

Starting in early May, users of iPhones with iOS 11.2.6 or earlier, Apple Watches with watchOS 4.2.3 or earlier, Macs with macOS 10.13.3 or earlier, and Apple TVs with tvOS 11.2.6 or earlier might experience limited access to Apple services, according to a tweet from leaker StellaFudge.

Should this come to pass, you could lose access to most Apple services, such as iMessage, FaceTime, and Maps, with iCloud anticipated to be the sole exception.

If the information from StellaFudge proves accurate, Apple is expected to send warning messages to affected users, urging them to update their devices if possible. Those with iOS 11, watchOS 4, or tvOS 11 can likely update their systems, as all compatible devices with these operating systems can also run newer versions. However, some Macs released between 2009 and 2011 may not be upgradeable beyond macOS 10.13 (High Sierra).

This leak follows an update on Apple’s official support website, which guides users who receive a notification indicating that their software version no longer supports Apple services.

Do you have to upgrade your iPhone?

It’s wise to approach this news with a healthy dose of skepticism. While StellaFudge has accurately leaked Apple information in the past, including details the M1 iPad Pro, there’s no guarantee that this particular leak is reliable.

Nonetheless, whether or not Apple decides to limit online service access for older devices, it could be time to upgrade if your iPhone is still running on iOS 11. An upgrade would not only provide enhanced features and hardware but more importantly, improved security. The longer software remains publicly available, the greater the chances a hacker could discover a vulnerability. Using outdated and unsupported software exposes your phone to potential exploitation by malicious parties.