Here’s what will happen when WhatsApp stops working on millions of phones tomorrow
‘You can no longer use WhatsApp on this phone, because WhatsApp no longer supports it.’
WhatsApp says that anyone using these older phones can no longer create new accounts or restart 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 is hours away from rendering a lot of people’s phones more-or-less obsolete. The Facebook-owned app stopped supporting a number of devices on December 31 and on February 1 it will declare lots more iOS and Android handsets out of date.
If your device is due for the scrapheap, you will be longer able to open up WhatsApp and will instead be shown a depressing message letting you know it’s time for an upgrade.
Last year, victims of the most recent WhatsApp cull were shown a dark screen of death and the words: ‘You can no longer use WhatsApp on this phone, because WhatsApp no longer supports it.’
It then offered a link to help victims ‘learn about switching to a new phone’. On December 31, 2019, WhatsApp withdrew support for the Windows Mobile operating system and people who used these devices were told to upgrade.
Writing on a Nigerian tech site called Cyber Era, Chris Emejuru penned a vivid description of what it’s like to see the dreaded display of doom which marked a grim end to his WhatsApp for Windows Phone journey.
‘I wanted to check something on WhatsApp in my Windows Phone device and got a slap in the face!’ he wrote. ‘The app presented me with a black screen.
‘It was just displaying a notice rather than doing what it was installed for. ‘They expected me to move over to another device by force.’
We haven’t seen the release of a Windows phone since 2010, so WhatsApp’s decision to withdraw support was not a particularly big deal. But a bigger deadline is approaching.
Starting from tomorrow (February 1), 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.
This means you’ll need at least at an iPhone 4 to run WhatsApp, as it cannot run iOS 8 and therefore won’t be able to open up the Facebook-owned messaging service. Millions of these devices are still in use across the world.
WhatsApp regularly stops support for older devices, forcing users to keep up to date if they want to continue using the app.
Here are all the 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 Mobile
- 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.’
Affected Phones Includes;
The last iPhones released running iOS 7 were the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C back in 2013. It was superseded by iOS 8 in 2014 so if you bought an iPhone (or iPad) after that date you’re going to be fine. Similarly, Android 2.3.7 was known as ‘Gingerbread’ and was launched way back in 2010. By February of 2011 it had been supplanted by Android 3.0, also known as Honeycomb.
Chances are, unless you’re still using a Google Nexus S or a Samsung Galaxy S, you’ll probably be fine. Windows Mobile is even older – it was originally rolled out in 2003 and ran until 2010 on devices like the Motorola MPx200.
When it became clear that iOS and Android were more superior, Microsoft re-engineered its mobile operating system into the tile-based Windows Phone OS – which didn’t fare much better.