No More WhatsApp For Android Smartphones: 75 Million Android Devices Affected

Must Read

Freshers’ Salary On The Rise In IT Companies Amid Mid-Level Layoffs

The Information Technology industry in India is recently going through some turmoil with massive mid-level layoffs taking...

BREAKING: GSMA Calls Off MWC 2020!

Update 1: February 12, 2020 GSMA, the organisation that operates Mobile World Congress, aka...

Freshers Rejoice As Cognizant To Hire 20,000 Digitally Skilled Graduates With Eye-Popping Salary Packages

American multi-national Cognizant is gearing up to be on a hiring spree as they plan to hire...

A few months ago, the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp announced a change in the availability of the service for specific Android and iPhone operating systems.

The announcement alerted users of the restrictions on creating new accounts or reverifying old phone numbers that had come into effect for any device with Android versions 2.3.7 or older and iOS 8 or older. The news also came with a disclaimer of the possibility of certain features not working on these versions due to device incompatibility.

However, the most important takeaway was the unavailability of WhatsApp on these operating systems by February 2020, which has now taken effect as of 1 February 2020.

Advertisements

Approximately 75 million Android users affected

Google’s distribution dashboard, a page containing different mobile device-related statistics, lists the approximate percentage of users for each Android version. According to Google’s data, which was last updated in May 2019, 0.3% of all active Android devices, worldwide, are still powered by Android’s versions 2.3.7 or older (also known as the Gingerbread version). This equates to 75 million out of an estimated 2.5 billion worldwide Android device users.

Since the number of WhatsApp users has already crossed 1.5 billion, it is safe to assume that this figure closely reflects the approximate number of users affected by the change.

It is much more difficult to come up with such a clear cut estimate for iOS since Apple has never officially revealed data about the number of users of each iOS version. Thus, this gap can only be bridged by third-party data according to which, 7.8% of iPhone users still use iOS versions 8 or older.

Security concerns

The ostensible reason behind this shift is to improve WhatsApp’s security, primarily. With each new system update, a device becomes more secure than before, owing to bug fixes and new features. Similarly, app updates boost app security.

While developing an app or fixing consequent bugs, a developer must come up with solutions that work for all devices and operating systems said app is available on. Since older OS lack security, ensuring user security becomes a challenge in such cases. Thus, experts believe that WhatsApp had no choice but to take such a measure.

Advertisements

The decision might be in good practice considering WhatsApp’s enormous scale and frequent run-ins with hackers, malware, and other cyber threats.

Another possible reason behind this decision could be to better support WhatsApp’s rumored merge with Facebook Messenger, which might happen this year. But an obvious argument against this is the lack of restrictions on Facebook’s availability.

WhatsApp was the most downloaded app on Google Play Store in Q1 2019, according to a report by Sensor Tower. Facebook’s messaging app Messenger came in second, with Chinese video-based social media app TikTok coming in third. However, the figures varied for Apple’s App Store, where WhatsApp was the fourth most downloaded app, with TikTok taking the number 1 spot and Facebook-owned Instagram scooping up third place.

It seems that WhatsApp is lined up for more changes in 2020, with the possibility of ads starting to appear on WhatsApp stories. The announcement was made last year at Facebook’s Marketing Summit. The decision, however, stirs up mixed feelings and raises questions about third-party access to user data and the overall privacy lends its users.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Microsoft Warns Millions of Windows 10 Users, And It’s Scary!

Microsoft’s Windows 10 update worries seem to haven’t stopped even after they started to secretly offer Windows...

Microsoft Study Reveals Indians Have Become Less Digitally Civilised Than The Previous Years!

With the coming age of digital boom in India, more and more people have been gaining access to the internet and have...

Facebook Falls Prey To Coronavirus: Cancels Global Marketing Summit 2020

The deadly Coronavirus outbreak seems to have now become the primary cause of the cancellation of another major global business conference as...

Facebooks Dating App In Hot Water Amid Privacy Issues

The much-anticipated Facebook dating app finds itself in a tough spot. Facebook had to call off the launch of their dating service...

End Of Privacy For Social Media And Messaging Platforms Users In India!

Soon enough major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok as well as messaging apps such as Whatsapp might have...

The Manufacturing of Smartphones In India Could Come To A Complete Halt!

India smartphone industry has started to feel the ripple effects of the deadly coronavirus infection which in China has forced several factories...

In-Depth: Dprime

YouTube Should Have Bid Adieu To Dislike Button Much Earlier?

Online video sharing platform YouTube can be a ruthless place for content creators targeted by 'dislike mobs'. And the site owners totally understand that...

Facebook Has Pulled Off A Masterstroke By Integrating Its ‘Family Of Apps’?

It’s indeed hard to believe that ONE man sitting at Menlo Park, oversees how nearly a third of the world’s population interacts with each...

Facebook’s Crunch Conquest: By Relying Largely On The US Market, Is Facebook Running a Risk?

Two billion! That's Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) for you - Right when you thought that this social-media giant has already connected the entire world, it's...

More Articles Like This