WhatsApp will stop working on millions of older mobile devices globally as the company has withdrawn support for such phones. From February 1, 2020, any iPhone running iOS 8 or older will no longer be supported on Whatsapp, along with any Android device running version 2.3.7 or older.
These details were posted by the messaging app on its blog. The Facebook-owned company said, “Users of these operating systems are already unable to create new accounts or re-verify existing accounts”. The app owners claim the move was necessary to ensure the safety of its users. WhatsApp already withdrew support for all Windows phones since December 31 2019, the same month that Microsoft ends support of its Windows 10 Mobile OS.
Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and aims to integrate the messaging platform into its other services Messenger and Instagram.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp brought the call waiting feature to its Android app, weeks after introducing the feature for iPhone. Prior to the update, when Android users received a WhatsApp call in midst of another WhatsApp call, the incoming call was automatically disconnected and they would see a missed call notification when the existing conversation ended. But following the update, users can choose to pick up the incoming call while talking with another person.
Any Whatsapp user affected could theoretically update their OS in order to keep using the service, however many older phones will have difficulties running newer operating systems or will simply not allow them to install the app.
It is not the first time messaging app has ended support for older phones and has previously described it as a “tough decision” to cut off users for the sake of safety and functionality.