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Twitter has ended support for iOS 13, and along with it, the iPhone 6. Owners of this eight-year-old smartphone have taken to social media to lament this nail in the coffin.
The iPhone 6 was released in 2014 as the first iPhone with a “phablet” display size and an all-new candy bar design. The device was so popular that it broke sales records and created the now infamous “supercycle.” Apple provided new operating system updates for this device until iOS 13.6.1 was released in August 2020.
Developers can target older operating systems when building apps, and often do since many users are slow to upgrade to the next operating system. Twitter supported iOS 13 until just recently, and iPhone 6 owners have taken notice.
The iPhone 6 is notable because it is the last iPhone to be cut off from operating system updates. The iPhone 6s and newer can update all the way to iOS 15 if the owner chooses to. Beyond technical considerations, developers can see the mix of users hanging on to older operating systems, and once it goes under a desired threshold, they stop support to remove some cruft from the app.
For tech aficionados, even two years sounds like a long time to go without an upgrade. Those still hanging onto the iPhone 6, however, likely just want a device that turns on and is able to make calls. As long as the battery is serviced regularly, the iPhone 6 can be used with some level of efficiency.
Apple prides itself as a device manufacturer that builds quality products that can last through years of use, and the remaining iPhone 6 owners are a testament to that. However, with each new operating system, a device will lose its luster and begin to show the signs of aging.
At least those complaining about losing the Twitter app seem to have discovered Twitter still works within Safari. Apple has tried tempting anyone still holding onto the iPhone 8 and earlier with the affordable iPhone SE, but for some that is still not worth the money or effort of upgrading when their aging iPhone “still works fine.”