WhatsApp to stop working on old generation phones by the end of December

WhatsApp has announced it will soon stop working on millions of phones around the world as they reach the end of their supported lifespan.

That means users on a variety of older handsets could end up losing access to the messaging app. WhatsApp has confirmed via its support page that it will stop supporting these devices on December 31, 2019.

The company says that any phone running the Windows Mobile operating system will not be supported after this date. However, that’s not all. Any iPhone running software older than iOS 7 will no longer be supported and neither will any Android device with version 2.3.7 installed.

The iOS and Android blocks won’t happen this month but will take place on February 1, 2020. WhatsApp says that anyone using these older phones can no longer create new accounts or reverify existing accounts.

‘Because we no longer actively develop for these operating systems, some features might stop functioning at any time,’ the company said in a blog post announcing the cut-off dates. WhatsApp regularly stops support for older devices, forcing users to keep up to date if they want to continue using the app.

Here’s all he dates that WhatsApp stopped working on older phone systems. June 30, 2017 – Nokia Symbian S60 December 31, 2017 – BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 December 31, 2018 – Nokia S40 December 31, 2019 – Windows Phone OS February 1, 2020 – iOS 7 and Android 2.3.7

‘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,’ WhatsApp said to justify why it routinely strips support for older operating systems.

‘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.

‘If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone to continue using WhatsApp.’ As well as ditching older systems, WhatsApp is focused on adding new features for current systems.

It is currently working on a dark mode which should help reduce its battery usage a bit, but it’s not available for general release. Now the app detectives at WABetaInfo have found a clever new feature that should allow the dark mode to bring even more light to your life. It is rooted through beta mode to find a new option buried in the settings.

This will let you choose between the light and dark side of WhatsApp, but also tick a box marked ‘battery saver’. This automatically switches on dark mode when your juice is running low. ‘WhatsApp doesn’t stop amazing us, continuing to improve with new features like the Battery Saver option’ the blog wrote.

The feature was found in a beta version of the software for Android. It will eventually be released to the public and run on every device, but it’s not clear when this will take place.

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Gbenga Ajao
Gbenga Ajao is a journalist. He has garnered experience in print, electronic and new media. He is passionate about mobile and web technology.

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