For many years WhatsApp has been used as primary communication mode for text, video and animated messages by billions of smartphone users worldwide. But, a new deadline set by WhatsApp will leave many smartphone users who are either hooked to very old smartphone models, which have become almost obsolete or haven’t upgraded their OS to a certain version and beyond. To put simply, WhatsApp will not work on millions of smartphones from February 2020.

WhatsApp has announced that Android smartphone users who are still having a device powered with Android version 2.3.7 and older will no longer be able to use WhatsApp from February 1, 2020.

Similarly, the company has set a deadline for Apple iPhone users as well. iPhone users that haven’t upgraded their OS to iOS 9 and beyond, will not be able to use the world’s most popular mobile messaging app from the same date as well.

The move by WhatsApp to get rid of supporting much older devices makes sense, especially in the era of falling prices of smartphones and exploded adoption of high-speed mobile internet connectivity. Supporting all devices active in the market is a big challenge for all the popular apps. Fragmentation of devices and platforms have created a challenge for such apps to provide safe communication experience to every user. For every app, data encryption and protection is a big challenge especially on devices that are running on very old versions of an operating system.

No More WhatsApp On Smartphones

More than Android, the scenario is more worrisome for iPhone users who are using jailbroken or unlocked devices. Citing security concerns, WhatsApp has decided to do away from those devices as well.

“We don’t explicitly restrict the use of jailbroken or unlocked devices. However, because these modifications might affect the functionality of your device, we can’t provide support for devices using modified versions of the iPhone’s operating system,” said the update.

WhatsApp, the world’s most popular mobile messaging platform, was acquired by social media behemoth Facebook for a whopping $22 billion in October 2014. Since then, the number of WhatsApp users have been growing at a phenomenal rate. It’s estimated that WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion monthly active users in 180 countries. Nearly 1 billion smartphone users make use of the mobile communication platform on a daily basis. India, which is the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world, is the largest country by the number of WhatsApp users. According to independent estimation, nearly 250-300 million users of WhatsApp are in India alone.

The line drawn by WhatsApp for Android OS doesn’t seem to be a big problem considering that only 0.3% of total active Android users are hooked to version 2.3.7 or below. However, there is a sizable share (7.8%) of iPhone users that still use iOS 8 or earlier version. Recently Apple has released the latest iOS 13 OS which can be upgraded by users having iPhone 6S or later models. Before you decided to upgrade to iOS 13, you might want to enlighten yourself with the good, bad and ugly about the new iOS 13.

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