Last year, WhatsApp announced that it is ending support for a number of devices. While some devices lost support by 2016, some were scheduled for early 2017, and some for the year-end, which is now. Is your device among the ones losing support? Find out.
According to WhatsApp’s blog post, which was shared early last year, support for BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8 and older, will be discontinued after December 31, 2017. On the other hand, Nokia S40 will lose support after December 31, 2018, and Android versions 2.3.7 and older after February 1, 2020. Support for Nokia Symbian S60 was already discontinued in June this year.
Do note, that by WhatsApp discontinuing support, it does not mean that the messenger would entirely stop working on the mentioned devices from the date on. It basically means that WhatsApp will no longer actively develop for these platforms, due to which some features may stop functioning at any time. Essentially, losing developer support means losing an optimum user-experience of the application, which you would have otherwise enjoyed.
The solution to this is twofold. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, you either upgrade to a newer Android or iPhone before the date of discontinuation, or you graduate to a device with a newer operating system.
WhatsApp started in 2009, and since then the use of mobile devices have changed drastically. If you rewind eight years back, about 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia. Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – which account for 99.5 percent of sales today – were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time. Which means the core majority has shifted. And so, in order to focus their efforts on the mobile platforms with vast majority of people use, WhatsApp has chosen to concentrate its developer updates strategically.
The smartphones that are losing support now, were once popular, but they naturally do not offer the kind of capabilities WhatsApp needs at this point to expand their app’s features in the future.