WhatsApp will not support all devices running on Android 4.0.2 and before, and iOS 9.0 and before, from February 1, 2020.

Image for Representation (Image altered by News18)
Image for Representation
(Image altered by News18)

WhatsApp, the wildly popular messaging service, has been attempting to streamline the load on its servers, and the amount of effort it needs to put behind maintaining safety patches for different versions of its supported operating systems. The company has since announced that from February 1, 2020, the messaging service will no longer work on Android devices running on versions before Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich), as well as iOS devices running on versions before iOS 9. As a result, if you are still on one of these versions of Android or iOS, you will have to upgrade your device in order to continue using WhatsApp.

The move, however, does not appear to affect a whole lot of users. Google’s usage statistics, courtesy of 91mobiles, state that 99.6 percent of all Android devices already run on Android versions that make the cut. For iOS too, more than 91 percent of all iOS devices already run on iOS 12 or above, suggesting that a mere fraction of iOS users still use the over five years-old iOS 8 versions. This suggests that WhatsApp’s end of service may not actually affect way too many users, on overall terms.

The move may help WhatsApp streamline its overall operations, and is also a push to make users upgrade their devices so as to receive more regular safety updates. With an increase in the types of cyber attacks affecting iOS and Android devices, it is anyway recommendable for all users on age-old Android and iOS versions to upgrade their devices at the earliest possible.

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