Why is my device not compatible with some apps?

When perusing the app store, whether you’re on an iOS or Android device, you can come across an app that you cannot download. This is usually due to a compatibility issue between the app and your device. The app store will tell you this through an error message, which varies in form depending on the app store you’re using. Here’s what to do if you get this issue on your phone.

Why is my device not compatible with some apps?

If you’re getting the message that your device is not compatible with certain apps, the first thing you should do is update your mobile OS to the latest version. You should also make sure you have a reliable Wi-Fi connection on your device too. If you still can’t use the apps, it might be time to consider using an APK instead.

If you’re using an iOS device, the Apple App Store will only give you this error message when you attempt to download the app by pressing the install option.

compability-issue-ios

For the Android OS, the Google Play Store will give you the error message when you open an app’s download page, by pressing into the app. The error message should appear below the install option.

compatibility-issue-android

There are a few reasons for why the app may not be compatible with your device. We’ll go through some of the possible reasons, along with some solutions that could solve the compatibility issues.

Outdated Software

Some apps may have been compatible in the past, but no longer are. This may be due to your device using now-outdated software.

The app may also be very new, and thus only attuned to the newest software. Or, the app simply updated to longer support outdated software. If there’s been a new software update, your current software may no longer be compatible with the app.

Update Software

You can solve solve the issue of having outdated software by updating your software to the most current, or newest, version. You can check whether there’s a new software update to download, and install the update if there’s one available.

For iOS users

Go to Settings > General > Software Update. You should be able to select Download and Install, but this will only be the case if there is an update available for you.

For Android users

If you have an Android device, then it’s a fairly common issue as it’ll pop up in the Google Play Store app. However, it can be fixed fairly easily by using the Settings app on your phone.

Go to Settings > Software Update > Download and Install, to check for any software updates. If there’s an update on your Android device available for download, you can then download it and update your software. You’ll also want to make sure that your Play Store is updated.

Non-supported Device

Another reason for your device having compatibility issues with an app is that the app no longer supports your device model. If this is the case, you won’t be able to download or use the app on your current device. If the app updates in the future, and chooses to support your device model; you’ll be able to download and use the app.

Unfortunately, this is quite uncommon as non-supported devices are usually older device models. You’re only likely to get this message if you’re using a much older Android version with incompatible apps, and this issue doesn’t occur at all on iOS devices.

The newest device models are supported by most apps, whilst some older models will no longer be supported by some apps. There’s not much you can do to solve the compatibility issue, if this is the case.

Use Another Device

You can find out whether your device model is no longer supported, by trying to download the app from another device. This device should be a newer model than your other device, as an older model will most likely also fail to be compatible with the app.

However, you can still try downloading the app from another device, regardless of whether the model is newer, just to see if there are compatibility issues. If you can download and use the app from the new device, then it’s most likely that the other device model is just no longer supported by the app. You’ll have to use the app on the new device.

If you still get compatibility issues with the new device, then try contacting the developers for more information.

Contact Developers

You can contact app developers using the app store. The method varies depending on the app store you’re using.

For iOS App Store:

Press onto the app, to view the app’s download page.

app-page-ios

Scroll all the way down to find a link to the developer’s website.

developer-website-link

Press the link to be sent to the developer’s website.

Open the menu on the website. It’s usually available by pressing a button in the top right, or top left, corner.

website-menu

There’s usually a ‘contact’ setting you can press, which should send you to a help centre.

One of the links in the help centre should open up a request form. Fill in the form, and detail your query.

request-form

Then, submit the form to send your query to the developer.

For Google Play Store:

Press onto the app, to view the app’s download page.

app-page-android

Scroll down until you find the ‘developer contact’ option.

developer-contact-setting

Press the arrow next to ‘developer contact’ to expand the setting.

developer-contact-info

You should now be able to see the developer’s contact information. This usually consists of an email. Mail your query to the email address provided.

Use APK

If the solutions above didn’t work, you can try installing the app through a third-party app store. Be careful when using a third-party source, as some can harm your device.

One reliable app store is APK. You can download APK online, and use it to download the app. This doesn’t always work, but it’s worth trying.

Go to https://m.apkpure.com/, and press the ‘download’ option to download the APK app.

apk-website

You will then be asked to choose which version you wish to download. Press the ‘download’ version, or the first option.

apk-download-versions

A pop-up will appear, warning you that downloading from a third-party source may harm your phone. Press ‘download’ to continue with the installation. APK will not harm your device.

download-warning

After downloading APK, find the download in your files.

apk-download-file

Press the download to open it. A pop-up will then appear, asking to install APK. Press ‘install’ to install APK.

install-option

When APK has finished installing, a notice will appear. Press ‘open’ to open APK.

open-option

Some permission notices will pop-up after you open APK. Press allow for the media permissions (you can deny the rest).

After opening APK, search for the app you wish to download. Press the relevant search result to go to the app’s download page.

install-app-option

Press the ‘install’ option to download the app.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a few reasons for why your device may not be compatible with an app. Your device may be using outdated software, or your device model may no longer be supported by the app. For the former, you can solve the issue by updating your software. For the latter, there is no real solution but you can try downloading the app from another device.

If none of those solutions worked, you can try downloading the app from a third-party source; or contact the developers with your issue. Be careful when using a third-party source to download apps. Some sources are not trust-worthy and can be harmful to your device.

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Author

Jenny

I love reading, writing, drawing, and other creative pursuits. I wish to travel more and do extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. I'm a casual gamer with an affinity for narrative-driven games and unique art styles. I like watching a variety of different media, but I particularly enjoy animations and musicals. My favourite genre, for both books and visual media, is psychological-thriller.

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