Last year, Facebook owner WhatsApp announced that various older devices will no longer get the services and the messaging app will stop working on those devices. WhatsApp has already stopped support on Windows devices from the 1st of January.
The messaging have said that from the 1st of February, it should start discontinuing support from various devices which includes, devices running on Android 2.3.7 or earlier, and iOS 8 or earlier. WhatsApp has asked the users using KaiOS devices to upgrade their OS to 2.5.1 or later version if they want to continue using the services of WhatsApp messaging app.
What devices will be impacted by the decision?
Talking about Apple devices, this decision will only impact people users using iPhone 4 or devices launched before that, users owing these iPhones will no longer be able to use WhatsApp. People using iPhone 4s are safe, for now, as the latest iOS they have is 9.3.6. However, reports have surfaced where people complained about their phone getting slow post iOS 9 update, it is unlikely they will be able to use it for long.
Coming to Android devices, Google had already stopped giving support to people using Android Gingerbread phones, the support was stopped in 2017, however, WhatsApp continued giving support to such devices, however, with even WhatsApp pulling out, these phone will have little to nothing left of “Smart” in the “Smart-Phone”.
As for the Windows phones, majority of them must have already stopped getting support from WhatsApp from the 1st of January, WhatsApp is no longer listed on the Microsoft Store.
Has WhatsApp done this before?
This is not the first wave of discontinuation coming from WhatsApp, besides pulling out of the Microsoft Store, the Facebook owned messaging app also stopped support for Blackberry devices in the past. Additionally, WhatsApp also stopped supporting devices running on Symbian OS like Nokia S40 and S60 in the past.
Why WhatsApp stops proving support?
Before talking about why WhatsApp discontinuing support for these devices let’s talk about the OS providers for a clearer picture.
All the devices which will and are not getting support from WhatsApp are the same to which their OS providers stopped providing support long ago. Talking about Google, the company stopped offering support to devices running on Gingerbread back in 2017, and Apple stopped giving support to iPhone users in 2015. Even Microsoft ended support for devices on Windows 10 on the 10th of December last year. This means that from that date onwards, these devices have not received any software updates, or patches, making prone to hacking.
Coming to WhatsApp now, the firm have had a difficult time lately following the hacking scenarios, so the company finds it of no use to continue giving support to these devices. Additionally and more importantly, WhatsApp have to keep its software top notch and up to date in order for it to function seamlessly on all the devices, and to incorporate those devices will cost the company more. WhatsApp has still given support to these devices for a longer period of time compared to Telegram, which discontinued supporting these devices 3 years ago.
How many will be impacted?
According to Apple, less than 5% of its users now use iPhone 4 or lower, and as for Android devices, the number is so less it’s almost negligible, only 0.3% Android users are running their devices on Gingerbread.
Having said that, the problem is, many of the people falling in this category are old, so changing their devices will be a hassle.
Do you use Jio Phones?
Users of both Jio Phone 1 and 2 will continue to get support from WhatsApp only if they update their KaiOS to 2.5.1 or higher. Updating your OS is relatively easy, open the “Setting” option and click on the devices tab, go to device information and simply click on software update.