WhatsApp has announced that certain smartphone devices running older system software will lose support for the messaging app. Users with old devices will either need to upgrade to a newer operating system or risk losing access to WhatsApp all together.
Which devices are affected?
WhatsApp’s ‘supported operating systems’ page has been updated recently to reflect some changes for the app’s recommended system software.
WhatsApp now provides support for the following devices:
- Android running OS 4.0.3 and newer
- iPhone running iOS 9 and newer
These changes will come into effect from January 1, 2021, according to News 18.
While the percentage of devices that still run on this older software is small, owners of an iPhone 4 or lower will lose support for WhatsApp. Those using an iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, 6 or 6S will also need to update their system software to iOS 9 or above in order to continue using all of WhatsApp’s features.
For Android users, any device that isn’t running 4.0.3 or above will be impacted. This includes early models like the Samsung Galaxy S2.
The latest operating systems for Apple and Android are iOS 14 and Android 10 so there’s a fair margin between the software that is losing support and the current generation.
In 2019, WhatsApp culled support for another generation of smartphones including anything running Android 2.3.7 or iOS 7. It tends to be a yearly occurrence for the messaging app as it continues to upgrade in order to support the latest system software. There will likely be another round of cut-offs at the end of 2021.
It’s recommended that users check which operating system their device is running to ensure it isn’t older than those listed above. Anything running iOS 9 or Android 4.0.3 and above won’t be affected by this round of changes.
To check which OS your device is running look for Settings > General > Software Update on iOS devices or Settings > About Phone on Android.