THERE’S a big month ahead for WhatsApp with the messaging service about to force millions to buy a new smartphone if they want to keep chatting to friends and family.
Millions of WhatsApp users are facing a very expensive start to 2020. From the beginning of next month, a number of devices will stop working on the chat app leaving some needing to take a trip to the shops to buy a new and expensive smartphone.
WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, has been warning fans of the change for months but the dramatic new block will finally come into effect from February 1, 2020.
So how do you know if you are being hit by this latest block?
This new ban means that all iPhones running anything older than iOS 7 will no longer have access to WhatsApp and there’s also issues for Android fans as well.
Devices with anything prior to version 2.3.7 installed will also be out of luck come February.
According to latest figures from Google, there are still plenty of phones using older versions of its operating system and there could be as many as 7.5million devices that will have to be upgraded before they can continue to use WhatsApp.
Although it may not be a hugely popular decision for those with ageing smartphones there has to come a point where tech firms simply can’t continue supporting every operating system.
Explaining their reasons behind this latest block, WhatsApp said: “As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.
“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp.
“If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone to continue using WhatsApp.”
Android and Apple’s iPhone aren’t the only devices to suffer. WhatsApp has slowly been phasing out plenty of other gadgets over the past few years with Windows phone the most recent casualty of the block.
HERE ARE ALL THE DATES WHEN WHATSAPP STOPPED WORKING ON SOME PHONES
• Nokia Symbian S60 after June 30, 2017
• BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 after December 31, 2017
• Nokia S40 after December 31, 2018
• All Windows Phone operating systems after December 31, 2019
• Android versions 2.3.7 and older after February 1, 2020
• iPhone iOS 7 and older after February 1, 2020
Sadly, if you own any of the above you’ll need to upgrade it to a shiny new phone to continue using WhatsApp.
Along with this fresh ban, there’s another update from WhatsApp that might not go down so well.
A recent upgrade to the chat app now displays the Facebook logo in the lower third of the screen whenever you launch WhatsApp.
“From Facebook” it announces in block capitals – showcasing the new corporate logo in a fetching shade of green.
The addition of the Facebook logo – and the increased awareness of the sheer scale of Facebook’s reach – might not be the best move from the company. After all, thousands of users are abandoning their profile on the sprawling social network, mostly younger users. According to Cork-based Mulley Communications, the only age demographic not fleeing Facebook is the 50 and older age category. Its research found that 200,000 users within the 13-35 age category left within the last twelve months in Ireland alone.