All Android phones running on Android 2.3.7 operating system and iPhones running on iOS7 will not support WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging app, from February 1, 2020. According to the FAQ section of WhatsApp, users of these Android phones and iPhones will no longer be able to create new accounts, nor would they be able to verify existing accounts.
However, WhatsApp has said that its decision to end support of the Facebook-owned app for these Android phone and iPhones will not affect many users and only those people who are still using old Android phones and iPhones will be affected.
According to a tweet posted by WABetainfo, WhatsApp will also no longer support devices running on iOS8 or lower. However, they can still use WhatsApp on iOS 8 but won’t be able to verify the account if they reinstall it. The iOS 8 compatibility will be fully removed in February 1, 2020.
In the latest/updated FAQ WhatsApp also asks users to use phones running KaiOS 2.5.1+, including JioPhone and JioPhone 2. Reliance Jio and WhatsApp worked together to bring WhatsApp support to JioPhone and JioPhone 2 last year.
WhatsApp has been adding up new features regularly and some of these features require powerful phones and newer Android and iOS versions to function properly. Features like playing videos directly inside the chat window, fingerprint authentications etc are resource heavy and require powerful phones with enough RAM and newer OS. WhatsApp has said that some of the phones won’t be able to support the feature that it plans to bring in future and that is why it is ending the support for them.
“We’ll no longer actively develop for these operating systems; some features might stop functioning at any time. If you currently use an older operating system, we recommend upgrading to a newer version…,” WhatsApp said on its support page.
Facebook owned WhatsApp is a popular messaging platform that has over a billion active users. The platform is especially popular in India and gets a lot of traffic during big events and festivals. The news that it won’t work will surprise many at a time when people will be looking to send Diwali wishes to their near and dear ones.
Menlo Park, California-based WhatsApp said that “you’ll no longer be able to use all Windows Phone operating systems after December 31, 2019, and WhatsApp might not be available in the Microsoft Store after July 1, 2019.”
This change is expected to have even less of an effect on users since only about 0.24 per cent of mobile phones around the world, according to Statcounter, use a Windows operating system.
The 0.24 per cent figure includes all versions of the Windows operating system, including the more recent Windows 10 Mobile, so that the number of current Windows Phone users is insignificant.
WhatsApp recommended using Android 4.0.3 or later; iOS 8 or later; and certain phone models with KaiOS 2.5.1 or later, including the JioPhone and JioPhone 2, Efe news reported.
You won’t be able to use WhatsApp on the following devices:
iPhone iOS 7 and older, after February 1, 2020
Nokia Symbian S60, after June 30, 2017
BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10, after December 31, 2017
Nokia S40, after December 31, 2018
All Windows Phone versions, after December 31, 2019
Android versions 2.3.7 and older, after February 1, 2020
Ever since it was acquired by Facebook in 2017 for $19 billion, a staggering amount for a messaging service that had 450 million monthly active users and 315 million daily active users at the time, WhatsApp has been picking up lots of new features.