As 2020 draws to a close, WhatsApp is said to be ending its support for some older Android and iOS smartphones. WhatsApp users who use the app via iPhone 4, older iPhones and older Android devices will not be able to use the app properly as of January 1, 2021.
The Facebook-owned messaging platform is shutting down its support for Apple’s iOS 9 operating system in 2015. Non-Apple users, who also have an older device, are affected if their devices are still running Android 4.0.3, released by Google in 2011, such as HTC Desire, LG Optimus Black, Motorola Droid Razr and Samsung Galaxy S2.
iOS 9 was the last software update the iPhone 4 could receive, while newer models were able to upgrade to later versions, with Apple releasing iOS 14 in September 2020.
Subsequent models, such as iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S, can be updated to keep WhatsApp working over the phone.
Moving to stop supporting older devices is a common tactic for app developers, in order to provide resources to focus on product optimization for the majority of users with more modern devices.
However, WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps in the world, with 2 billion users, and is popular around the world, especially in places where cheap and old smartphones are still popular.
Users concerned about losing access to WhatsApp should check their phone settings to see if they are using iOS 9 or Android 4.0.3. For phones that cannot be updated to the newer operating system, the app stops working properly at the dawn of 2021.
The WhatsApp support page recommends that users use the latest version of the operating system to enjoy all the features.