WhatsApp drops support for millions of older smartphones

WhatsApp on Android
WhatsApp on Android (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • On February 1, 2020, WhatsApp dropped support for Android phones running Android 2.3.7 or below and iPhones running iOS 8 and below.
  • Users will either need to update the operating system on their phones to a more recent version or upgrade their phone to continue using WhatsApp.
  • The Facebook-owned app also ended support Windows Phones on December 31, 2019.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world, and one of the most downloaded apps of the decade. However, on February 1, 2020, the Facebook-owned app decided to end support for millions of devices. The smartphones losing support include Android devices running Android 2.3.7 or older, as well as iPhones using iOS 8 and below.

The news may come as a surprise to many users, but WhatsApp announced plans to drop support for devices running older software as far back as 2017. According to CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood, WhatsApp had no choice but to drop support for devices running old and outdated software to ensure the security of its service.

WhatsApp clearly had no option but to ensure its service remains secure, however, it faces the difficult side-effect that the app is no longer compatible with older smartphones

It isn't the first time WhatsApp has pulled support for devices with outdated software, on December 31, 2019, it stopped working on Windows phones. Unlike Windows Mobile users, at least some iPhone and Android users will have an option to update their software to continue using the app. However, if you find yourself using an older device that is no longer eligible for software updates, your only choice will be to upgrade to a new phone.

Another option would be to download the desktop app for either Windows or Mac OS. However, that won't do you much good if you don't have a computer, or for keeping in contact with friends and family on the go.

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