An announcement was made by Niantic in mid-November 2021 that Pokemon GO would soon end support for older versions of iOS. Your iPhone running a version of iOS released before September of 2019. If you have an iPhone with software that old, now is the time to get an update from Apple. Also, who are you, and would you mind answering a few questions for us?
In September of 2019, Apple released the operating system known as iOS 13. If you have an iPhone running software older than this, Pokemon GO will cease to function in the very near future. To see which version of iOS your device is running, open Settings – General – About.
Niantic suggested that their “next release” will be the one that’ll make this change. They’ve recommended that all iOS users make sure they’re updated beyond iOS 12 as soon as possible so as to “continue to play without interruption.”
No changes will be made to the devices that are supported by Pokemon GO. This means that if you have a very old iPhone, but your very old iPhone is able to run iOS 13, you’ll still be golden. Niantic suggested this week that their eldest iPhone model support remains the same – iPhone 6s and newer.
Pokemon GO release version 225 will be the first that will cut off access to features from devices running iOS 12 or older. Any version 12.x counts in this – you’ll need at least iOS 13 to continue forward in Pokemon GO once version 225 is released.
If you have an Android device, you will not be affected by this update. Android users already have a minimum version number Android 6, AKA Android Marshmallow. That operating system was first released all the way back in October of 2015. The span of time Niantic covers in version releases of operating systems is based on the percentage of users that play on any given operating system.
Once Niantic has a requisite amount of players appearing using the newest version of iOS, and a small enough number of players playing on older versions of iOS, they move forward. Each time a new version of the Pokemon GO app is made, each time they need an update, they must make certain it’ll all work with every different operating system Niantic officially supports. Reducing the number of operating system versions Pokemon GO needs to be tested on allows Niantic’s developers to focus on more important things – like plopping Shiny Pokemon in the game for special events!
This should give you some idea of how spread out the version numbers are in active Android players, and how up-to-date most iOS users are at any given time. Niantic sees that most iOS users are on iOS 13 or higher, so they’ll drop support for iOS 12 soon. Once enough Android users update from… Marshmallow?! What on earth? They’ll drop that too!