WhatsApp users with older devices may be disappointed by the news that their operating system may not be supported by next year.
WhatsApp said that the social media/chat app will only be available on Android 2.3 and upwards, iOS and Windows Phone 8.1 and upwards “by the end of 2016”. In summary, the app will not be supported on:
- All BlackBerry OS devices, even the fairly new BlackBerry 10
- Nokia S40
- Nokia Symbian S60
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Windows Phone 7.1
However, the company does not mention whether it will remove the app from the respective app stores, or if it will simply stop updating it. In any case, it means the users affected will miss out on new features and perhaps even be incompatible if WhatsApp makes significant changes to the app by the end of the year.
For users in the US, it may not be too much of a big deal, as WhatsApp says the main three operating systems account for 99.5 percent of sales today. But some parts of the world where BlackBerry phones and older operating systems are popular will suffer.
You can’t really blame WhatsApp for making the change, as it has supported many more of the smartphone platforms and versions than most competitors for some time. It’s actually a surprise that they still updated the app for older phones for such a long period – does anyone still update Symbian apps for example?
If you have one of the imminently-unsupported operating systems, WhatsApp has suggested the pretty obvious advice that may not please some users: upgrade to a newer phone.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.