Instagram updated. No longer old iPhone-friendly

Instagram now requires iOS 4.0 or newer

This post will be relevant to maybe a few dozen readers. I’m one of them. The new Instagram 2.5.1 update was recently released. Here’s what’s new:

– Bug fixes
– New Flickr authentication support

Not mentioned in the App Store description is that with this update, Instagram now requires iOS 4.0 or newer. UPDATE 01.11.13: More recent Instagram updates have changed the minimum iOS requirements to iOS 4.3. This means that owners of iPhone 3G or older won’t be able to update, install, or reinstall Instagram on their iPhone.

Through version 2.5.0, Instagram was the highest profile app in a dwindling number of photo apps that still supported iPhone OS 3. The original iPhone 2G won’t run any OS newer than 3.1.3. The iPhone 3G will run iOS 4, but many owners reported that their iPhones run better with the older operating system.

Don’t panic. Nearly all iPhones and iPads now run iOS 4 or newer. You’re okay.

Why would anyone still be using an old iPhone? There’s still a lot of functionality in one. If you’ve upgraded yours, odds are you gave your old device to a family member or a friend. For someone who’s “upgrading” from a non-smartphone, even a used iPhone 3G is a huge improvement. There are still plenty of apps — photo and non — that will run on an old iPhone, but that number is dwindling. Most old installed apps will still run fine. Updates will simply stop showing up in your device’s App Store app.

I still use my old 2G to shoot. There are a few apps which won’t run on the newer operating systems and I can still shoot with Polarize! Although the camera of the 2G is pretty bad by today’s standards, I like shooting with it as sort of a “project” camera. It lacks the color and dynamic range of the newer iPhones. It’s the digital equivalent of a Holga. It truly is shooting life in lo-fi.

I’m filing this one under “Musings” and not News. I expected to see OS 3 support go away with a bigger update — Instagram 3, now with IMAX! Instead, it went away quietly in a very minor dot-hundredth update. Other apps have dropped support for old iPhones, but this is really one of the last nails….

If you don’t have Instagram by now, the App Store link is below. Instagram is still free but for the first time, it’s no longer old iPhone-friendly. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 4.3 or later.

Life In LoFi keeps a database of which apps support old operating systems. If you have an old iPhone, check out our iPhone Photo App Resolutions to see which photo apps will still run on your device. It’s also got the maximum resolutions of over 550 photo apps.

Instagram - Burbn, Inc.



About Marty Yawnick 1830 Articles
Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, Pink Floyd, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.
  • farih

    what do u mean by " most old installed apps will still run fine" ??

  • kimberly

    I don't understand why there aren't alternatives for people with older iPhones.

    • Roland

      Apple should make it so that itunes automatically recognizes which app you need based on the phone OS, and then allow you access to the last developed version of the app. Especially since they were still selling new 3G's only 2 years ago, and now those people are just over a barrel. It's not right.

  • jenayfer

    how can i update the os of my iphone 3g?? please help..

    • Taylor

      Yeah. I have an old iPhone 3 and I can’t download instgram! I can’t get another phone eathier, because I’m in school, and don’t have the time. Whoever did this was stupid thinkier.

  • Angela

    that is so not fair i really loved instagram and now what i just have to stop using it !

    • Aj

      Can still use instagram but I can’t follow people

  • jonathan

    so can you run instagram on iphone 3g and can you update it to 4.0

  • gail

    I have an iphone 3g iOS 4.2.1 and before instagram updated i already had instagram last year.But last week i tried to delete an unwanted post,but it wont let me as i needed to update.I can still do everything else-upload,follow,comment..etc,i just cant delete photos i regrettfully uploaded.

  • Miquel Ballester

    So, is there ANY instant messaging option for a iphone 2g using iOS 3.1.3?

    I tried all what I saw in itunes and everyhing seems to need later versions of the OS.

    I really hate this obsolescency. It is MEAN. I cant see why cant they make it compatible with older versions. My Iphone WORKS PERFECTLY and I dont need a new one!

    Any ideas?

  • Anah

    Well it’s odd that you say that about the iPhone 3G because I have the latest iOS update… Which is iOS 6 I believe…

    • Marty Yawnick

      Interesting. I’m going by what Wikipedia said for that one. I skipped over the iPhone 3G and 3GS. According to WP, the last iOS supported for the 3G is 4.2.1. They also say that the 3GS still supports iOS 6.


  • Xei

    Can you send me your instagram that still running on iphone 2? I can’t find any instagram now that’s running for my iphone, but I want to use instagram so badly. Please help me. Thank you so much. Please respond soon.

    • Marty Yawnick

      Hi, Xei,

      Unfortunately, my old copies of Instagram are tied to my App Store account and wouldn’t open on your device even though it’s a free app. Also, old versions of the app are not allowed to even sign in to the Instagram network. The don’t even make it past the splash screen. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


      • Xei

        That’s fine. Thanks though. 🙂

        • Beau

          yeah hi i am able to sign in on my instagram for ios 4.2.1 without any trouble except i can’t follow people that’s the only thing :/ but yeah

          I could give you the link to the ipa. for it if you contact me on twitter at:

  • Paul

    Pls Does anybody have an instagram that works on an iphone2? If u hav please e-mail it to me @… thank u

  • dane795

    Phones go obsolete unreasonably fast.. The older hardware is just as capable of these basic functions (although slower) but they choose not to support it and it’s pathetic. Windows xp was released in 2001 and even that can still be used effectively if one chooses.