Do you have an old Android smartphone that runs Android 2.2 Froyo or older versions? Perhaps an old Windows Phone smartphone that hasn’t been updated to Windows Phone 8.1? Or maybe, an old iPhone that still runs iOS 6? Well, if you use WhatsApp on any of these devices, come 2017, you will no longer be able to. It may be time to consider switching to a newer device if you intend to continue using the popular instant messaging service.
WhatsApp had back in February announced it would end support for older smartphone operating systems in order to ensure all platforms had feature parity. The company in a blog post had said older operating systems did not “offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.”
Of course, the company’s new limit is not too harsh. After all, Android 2.3 Gingerbread came out back in December 2010. So unless you have an Android smartphone that was launched over 5 years ago, you should be safe. As for iPhone users, the only iPhone not to receive iOS 7 is the iPhone 3GS, which was released back in 2009.
Back in February, the Facebook-owned company had said it was a difficult decision for it to take, however, felt that it was the “right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp.” It alongside had advised WhatsApp users to switch to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone smartphone if they intend to continue using the instant messaging service in 2017.
The decision does indeed make sense, as WhatsApp like most instant messaging services is a cross-platform offering, allowing users on different operating systems to chat with each other. Newer features introduced in the recent past include voice calling and video calling, and such features may very well tax the abilities of older devices and operating systems.
Notably however, WhatsApp last month gave users of BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 OS, Nokia S40, and Nokia Symbian S60 devices a reprieve. The company said it will continue to support these platforms until June 2017.
Unfortunately, this reprieve does not extend to devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and older versions, Windows Phone 7 and older versions, as well as iOS 6 and older versions. Readers should treat this post as a reminder that support for older devices will cease at the end of 2016.