Many of us turn to What’s App before text messages these days.
The world’s most popular messaging app has over a billion users – but changes in technology mean it has to phase out compatability with older phones.
Potentially millions of people are affected and will need to upgrade their mobiles if they want to continue using WhatsApp .
The company has set a deadline of the end of 2016 for several older services that will no longer be supported.
“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,” a spokesperson for WhatsApp said .
WhatsApp will soon stop working on any iPhone 3GS – which is the second generation handset that was released in 2009.
More importantly, the messaging app will also stop being supported on any device running iOS 6. That means, potentially, any iPhone 4, 4S, or 5 that hasn’t been updated to the newest version of the operating system – iOS 9.3.
It also affects any first, second, third or fourth generation iPad that hasn’t been updated.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve got the latest version of iOS, you can check on your iPhone by going to Settings, then General and then Software Update.
Any phones or tablets running Android 2.1 or 2.2 won’t be supported after the end of the year. This covers devices released between May 2010 and November 2011 from many different manufacturers.
Android’s latest version is 7.0 – known as “Nougat” – although it’s still not widely available. Check what version of Android you’re running in the Settings menu on your phone or tablet.
Windows Phone 7 was released worldwide in October 2010 and Microsoft itself stopped supporting the system in 2014. So it’s not really a surprise to see WhatsApp dropping support for it as well.
If you’re still using Windows 7 we’d recommend updating it as soon as possible.
WhatsApp was planning to drop support for BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 at the same time as the above operating systems.
However, it appears the Facebook-owned company has had a change of heart and is extending its support period for these devices into 2017.
An update on the official blog says that these devices will be supported until June 30, 2017.
WhatsApp itself has been around since 2009 and has slowly added more and more features, such as end-to-end encryption and video calling. Because of its cross-platform support it has become the most popular messaging platform in the world.
“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,” the company said.
So if you’re using an older handset and want to keep using WhatsApp in 2017, it might finally be about time to pick up a new mobile.