WhatsApp will soon stop working on older phones

By Aaron Brown for MailOnline

WhatsApp will drop support for millions of older smartphones, leaving users unable to send or receive texts via the hugely popular messaging app.

The Facebook-owned chat app will drop support for iOS 7 from 1 February 2020.

As a result, WhatsApp users with an iPhone 4 or older will be forced to either upgrade to a new phone, or find an alternative to the world’s most popular chat app.

WhatsApp has set the same deadline for Android smartphone owners running version 2.3.7 and older, known as ‘Gingerbread’.

From today, WhatsApp has stopped new users setting up account with the messaging service on either iOS 7 or Android Gingerbread.

Existing accounts can send and receive messages until the end of support date.

However, WhatsApp has warned that some features could stop working at any time between now and the final deadline in early 2020.

WhatsApp confirmed plans to drop support for Android Gingerbread and iOS 7 with a quiet update to an existing blog post about previous end of support deadlines.

In the post, the company also confirmed that it has stopped actively developing for iOS 7 and Android Gingerbread and that as a result, ‘some features might stop functioning at any time’ between now and February 2020.

Since iPhone 4 handsets and older are unable to upgrade to iOS 8, the successor to iOS 7, these Apple smartphone owners will no longer be able to continue to use WhatsApp without plumping for a new phone.

The same is true for some Android devices, like Google’s Nexus One, which cannot be upgraded past Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread, and the HTC Desire HD, which is stuck on version 2.3.5.

WhatsApp has confirmed plans to drop support for Nokia S40 in December 2018, and iOS 7 and Android Gingerbread in February 2020.

After this deadline, WhatsApp users will no longer be able to send or receive text messages, voice or video calls within the popular chat app.

Following the announcement of the end of support, WhatsApp stopped new users setting up an account with the messaging service on either iOS 7 or Android Gingerbread handsets.

Existing accounts can send and receive messages until the end of support date.

However, WhatsApp has warned that some features could stop working at any time between now and the final deadline in early 2020.

Handsets that will no longer support WhatsApp after February 2020:iPhone

  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4
  • Google Nexus One
  • Samsung Galaxy S
  • HTC Desire HD
  • HTC Wildfire
  • HTC Wildfire S
  • Sony Xperia X10
  • Sony Xperia Arc

This list is not exhaustive. Any Android-powered smartphones running version 2.3.7 and older will stop working on 1 February 2020.

WhatsApp periodically drops support for older operating systems so that it can guarantee its entire user base enjoys the same experience and features.

As the messaging service adds new functionality to its app, it is sometimes unable to replicate these features on smartphone running outdated operating systems.

On January 1 2018, WhatsApp removed support for phones running BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8.0, leaving these users unable to download the app, send or receive texts.

The Menlo Park-based developer has previously dropped support for:

  • Android versions older than 2.3.3
  • Windows Phone 8.0 and older
  • iPhone 3GS/iOS 6
  • Nokia Symbian S60

According to the latest figures from Google, 0.3 per cent of all Android devices still run Gingerbread.

That amounts of around 6-million active smartphones and tablets powered by the 10-year-old operating system.

While that may be a drop in the ocean compared to the 2 billion total active monthly devices running Android, it is sure to leave plenty of WhatsApp users unhappy about the latest announcement.

Apple does not reveal the exact breakdown of each iOS operating system, however, the iPhone maker has confirmed that five per cent of all iOS devices sold are now running iOS 9 and older.

However, it’s unclear what percentage of that 75 million total are running iOS 7.

WhatsApp periodically drops support for older operating systems so that it can guarantee its entire user base enjoys the same experience and features.

As the messaging service adds new functionality to its app, it is sometimes unable to replicate these features on smartphone running outdated operating systems.

On January 1 2018, WhatsApp removed support for phones running BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8.0, leaving these users unable to download the app, send or receive texts.

The Menlo Park-based developer has previously dropped support for:

  • Android versions older than 2.3.3
  • Windows Phone 8.0 and older
  • iPhone 3GS/iOS 6
  • Nokia Symbian S60

In a statement issued during the last round of end of support announcements, WhatsApp said it wanted to focus its efforts on the operating systems used by the majority of its chat app users – instead of trying to support a smaller percentage running older software.

The company said: ‘As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.’

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