The popular communication app WhatsApp no longer works on millions of smartphones if they are not updated with the latest software available. While billions of people depend on the app to chat with friends and family, the company says they cannot make the upgrades necessary to remain relevant without phasing out older phones that are not compatible with these changes.
WhatsApp originated in 2009 and has since accumulated billions of users. Over the years they have added a number of neat features including end-to-end encryption and video calling. Thanks to WhatsApp’s cross-platform support it is known as the most popular messaging platform worldwide.
A spokesperson for WhatsApp commented, “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.”
WhatsApp no longer works on iPhone 3GS, the second-generation devices that were released in 2009.
The messaging app no longer works on any iPhone that is running iOS 6 or less. So even if you have an iPhone 4, 4S or 5, if you haven’t updated to a newer iOS, the app will no longer work. In some cases, the low capabilities of older iPhone models makes it impossible to upgrade the operating system without incurring a lot of additional issues, such as freezing and running out of memory.
First, second, third and fourth generation iPads that have not been updated to a newer iOS are also impacted.
Unsure if your device is running iOS 10 or not? Go into Settings, General and then Software Update to see which iOS your phone is currently operating on.
If your device is running Android 2.1 or 2.2 it will no longer support WhatsApp. That includes all Android devices released between May 2010 and November 2011.
The latest operating system for Android is Nougat. You can check what version of Android your device is operating by going into the Settings menu on your tablet or smartphone.
The Windows Phone 7 no longer works with WhatsApp. This version was released in October 2010. As of 2017, Microsoft will stop supporting the Windows Phone 7 system, so it’s not all that surprising that WhatsApp is no longer supporting it either.
WhatsApp was originally scheduled to drop support for Blackberry OS, Blackberry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 at the end of 2016. They decided to extend service to these devices until June of 2017, at which point they will not longer be compatible with WhatsApp.
WhatsApp has plans to continue making great strides in order to remain the most popular messaging app around the world. The company said, “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.”
If you have a newer phone that’s running older software, you can upgrade your device through Settings. If your phone is not high tech enough to keep up with the latest software updates, it might be time to invest in a new device.
Your other option is to check out different messaging platforms that still operate on older devices. For the most part, the reason other messaging platforms continue to work on older devices is because they do not offer the same high tech features as WhatsApp.
Some other messaging apps to look into:
LINE offers free calls and messaging to a variety of devices. You simply enroll your number and email (optional) and are instantly connected with your phone contacts that are registered LINE users. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can call LINE contacts through the app.
Download LINE for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/line/id443904275?ls=1&mt=8
Download LINE for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.naver.line.android&hl=en
Download LINE for Blackberry:
Download LINE for Windows Phone:
Viber allows you to instantly connect with your contacts via messaging and calls, so long as your device is connected to the Internet.
Download Viber for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/viber-free-phone-calls/id382617920?mt=8
Download Viber for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.viber.voip
Download Viber for Blackberry: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/85455/
Download Viber for Windows: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/viber-messenger/f4631757-d1f6-4727-bd65-e6bc6c8e35da
Download Viber for Nokia: http://viber.com/products/nokia/
Download Viber for Bada: http://viber.com/products/bada/
Skype is very popular, which will increase the chances your friends and family have the platform. It recently merged with MSN and Hotmail accounts, adding even more contacts to the growing platform. It allows free calls and text messaging to your contacts.
Download Skype for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/skype/id304878510
Download Skype for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skype.raider&hl=en
Download Skype for Windows: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/skype/c3f8e570-68b3-4d6a-bdbb-c0a3f4360a51
Download Skype for BlackBerry: http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/on-your-mobile/skype-mobile/blackberry/