WhatsApp is by far the largest cross-platform instant messaging application designed to make communications easier between people from across the world. While news about new features coming to app bring is always exciting, here's some sad news for millions of users.
WhatsApp, which has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide, will be losing millions of users as it had to make a "tough decision" to end support on old (really old) smartphones. WhatsApp has been reminding its users of the deadline for ending support on older iOS and Android smartphones for several months now and the day has finally come.
On February 1, 2020, WhatsApp withdrew support for devices running Android 2.3.7 OS and lower and iOS 8 and lower. As a result, users of outdated Android and iOS smartphones won't be able to "create new accounts, nor re-verify existing accounts." WhatsApp will practically seize to exist on these phones.
"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. 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," WhatsApp said in a statement.
What are your options?
First of all, check if your Android smartphone and iPhone is eligible for a software update. If you can get your phone to run Android 4.0.3 or later or iOS 9+ versions, you simply have to connect to Wi-Fi, update your phone and continue using WhatsApp. The likelihood of this is extremely low, but still an option nevertheless.
According to Google's dashboard, there are 7.5 million Android smartphones still running the old OS version not supported by WhatsApp. As for iPhones, the number is limited and affects less than 1 percent of older hardware.
In an event, your phone isn't eligible for a newer software version from Google or Apple, you might need to upgrade your phone to continue using WhatsApp. But make sure your chats are backed by on Google Drive or iCloud Drive so you can retrieve them when you upgrade to a new phone.
This doesn't have to be difficult
The smartphone market has grown exponentially in the last few years. As the competition has spiked, there are phones available for less than Rs 10,000 or even under $100 so you can continue using the most popular chat app. There are attractive schemes to make your purchase convenient.
If you choose not to upgrade and decided to live without WhatsApp, make sure you export your chats to your email for future references.