If you’re a WhatsApp user with an older device, I have some bad news for you: your OS may no longer be supported by next year.
To summarize, WhatsApp will only be available on Android 2.3+, iOS and Windows phone 8.1+ “by the end of 2016.” In total, it’s ending support for:
- All BlackBerry OS devices, even the newish BlackBerry 10
- Nokia S40
- Nokia Symbian S60
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Windows Phone 7.1
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That said, the company doesn’t say if it will remove its software from the respective app stores or if it will just stop updating the app. Either way, it means those users will miss out on any new features and perhaps be totally incompatible if the WhatsApp makes any major changes to the software by the end of the year.
For US users this may not be much of a big deal – WhatsApp says the big three OS’s account for 99.5 percent of sales today – some regions of the world where BlackBerry devices or older OS’s are still fairly popular will suffer more.
Still, you can’t really blame WhatsApp, as it’s supported more platforms than the vast majority of competitors for some time no. It’s somewhat surprising they held out on older phones for so long; I mean, who still updates on Symbian?
If you are on one of the soon-to-be-unsupported operating systems, WhatsApp is offering obvious advice not everyone will be happy to hear: upgrade to a newer phone.