WhatsApp rolled out a three-year plan during discontinue support on older devices. That means that if you keep using WhatsApp on an older device, some features may stop working at any time, without warning.
WhatsApp support for mobile devices – What you need to know
A changing mobile landscape
WhatsApp explained that their seventh anniversary was a time to reflect on the past and look toward the future, and that certain changes had to be made to keep everything running smoothly. And, well, to keep up with the times.
“When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people’s use of mobile devices looked very different from today. The Apple App Store was only a few months old. About 70% of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia.”
Today, about 99.5% of devices run on operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft. Back then, when WhatsApp launched, Google, Apple and Microsoft devices accounted for less than 25% of devices used.
The announcement was made in February 2016 and the first devices to get the boot from the platform were devices running on Nokia Symbian S60, BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10. Support for these devices stopped on 31 December 2017.
Devices functioning on the Nokia S40 operating system were given the boot on 31 December 2018. Which brings us to the devices that will reach the end of their WhatsApp support on 31 December 2019.
Which devices will be kicked out in 2019?
According to WhatsApp, all phones running on the Windows Phone operating system will stop receiving on 31 December 2019. Windows Mobile was originally rolled out in 2003 and ran for about seven years.
Unfortunately, Microsoft had to go back to the drawing when Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS began dominating the scene. Windows Mobile was then restructured into what we know today as the Windows Phone OS.
But wait, there’s more. On 1 February 2020, WhatsApp will also stop supporting devices on iOS 7 and older, and Android 2.3.6 and older. If you have a fairly new iOS and Android device, you should be okay.
The current iOS version is 13.3, which was released in November 2018, and Android 10, which was released back in September 2019. If you have a phone running on any of the older devices, you might want to upgrade to something more recent.
Why are these phones getting the boot?
WhatsApp explained that as they look towards the future, the company has to focus their 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.”
How to upgrade your Android and iOS software
- Connect your phone to WiFi
- Open Settings.
- Select About Phone.
- Tap Check for Updates. If an update is available, an Update button will appear. Tap it.
- Depending on the OS, you’ll see Install Now, Reboot & Install, or Install System Software.
- Tap it and you’re done.
Update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Plug your device into power and connect to the Internet with WiFi.
- Go to Settings, then General, then tap Software Update.
- Tap Download and Install.
- To update immediately after download, tap Install.
- You might need to enter your passcode to proceed.