In about thirty days, WhatsApp will no longer be supported on a good number of popular mobile platforms across the globe.
In 2016, the Facebook-owned company released a statement saying that it will end up support for a bunch of old mobile operating systems and instead focus on supporting newer versions. The company later on made some slight adjustments to this statement, where some users were given an extended period of time to make the switch to a newer device by the end of June 2017.
In January, some people who were still using the likes of Android 2 and below as well as some old iPhones were denied access to WhatsApp. The company then promised that those using devices based on Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 will also be joining the blacklist at the end of June 2017.
We are here and what this means is that you have just about 30 days to find a new phone. There are still lots of Nokia phones out there that are based on Nokia S40 and Symbian S60 operating systems, especially in developing markets. If you have been enjoying WhatsApp on any of these platforms, it’s about time you started looking for a new phone.
In as much as this move does not go down well with users of the said mobile phone platforms, the company is similarly feeling the pinch. One thing that this could mean is that WhatsApp might lose a section of its user base, especially those who are not ready to upgrade to a newer phone that is supported on the platform. It is for this reason that the tech giant also noted that “this was a tough decision to make,” but it further adds on that it’s “the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones.”
All these changes boil down to the fact that the affected operating systems are no longer actively supported by their developers. For instance, BlackBerry no longer releases devices based on internal software, rather, the Canadian tech giant made the giant leap to Android with the BlackBerry Priv back in 2015 and has since then followed this phone with a series of others, including the BlackBerry DTEK50, DTEK60 and recently BlackBerry KEYone. As for Nokia, the story is the same, with the company having made an unexpected decision to come aboard Android, with three phones already out – the Nokia 3, 5 and Nokia 6.
Some old Windows Phone devices were also removed from the app’s support back in January alongside the older Android versions, but the likes of Windows Phone 8 and the latest Windows 10 are still supported. For iOS, you’ll need at least iOS 7 and above in order to keep on using WhatsApp.
The news of this block comes at a time when WhatsApp is constantly updating the app with more features and goodies. For instance, the app has now rolled out a stable video calling feature that is aimed at taking down the likes of Skype, Viber and Hangouts. The Facebook-owned application is also set to add some Facebook-like stickers to the application as it tries to add more fun to the messaging experience, which already supports GIFs and emojis.
The stickers feature is still in beta and we don’t know when exactly it will be made available in the stable version. But to have it, you’ll definitely have to do away with your BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 or Symbian S60 device and jump to one that is supported.
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