WhatsApp is all set to receive a major update soon, but this might be bad news for smartphone owners with older versions of Android and iOS devices. From February 1, millions of smartphones will not be able to access the popular Facebook-owned instant messaging app. Meanwhile, some older Windows phones have already lost support.
WhatsApp said that since it is no longer actively developing for older operating systems, several features could stop functioning abruptly post January 31. However, WhatsApp maintains that the upgrade is necessary to ensure users’security and advised them to upgrade their smartphones to the latest operating system it supports.
Apple iPhone (iOS) Users:
For Apple users, any iPhone running iOS 8 or earlier will stop supporting WhatsApp by the end of January. Apple launched iOS 9 in 2015, so all those who have an iPhone 6s or newer are safe. In fact, even some older models could iOS 8. Here’s a list of iPhones that came out before the release of iOS 8, and whether or not they can be updated to support the newer software:
iPhone 6/ iPhone 6 Plus – Can update to iOS 9 to support WhatsApp
iPhone 5/ iPhone 5s/ iPhone 5c – Can update to iOS 9 to support WhatsApp
iPhone 4s – Can update to iOS 9 to support WhatsApp
iPhone 4 and older – Cannot update to iOS 9 and will lose support for WhatsApp
For Android Users
Any Android smartphone running a version older than 4.0.3, or Ice Cream Sandwich (released in 2011), will lose access to WhatsApp. Therefore, smartphones running Android 2.3.7 (Gingerbread) and earlier will be affected too. However, if you own one such smartphone, don’t lose hope yet. Several Android devices launched after 2011 can be updated to a newer OS, which means that you can keep using WhatsApp.
Android users can find out the current version of their phone’s operating system by going to ‘Settings’, then ‘General’, then ‘Software Update’.
WhatsApp released a statement saying: “While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp”.