WhatsApp ends support for legacy platforms

Berlin – Instant messaging service WhatsApp has announced it will end support for a number of older mobile operating systems by the end of 2016.

This will affect all Blackberry OS devices including Blackberry 10, Nokia’s S40 and Symbian S60, Android 2.1 (Eclair) and 2.2 (Froyo) as well as Windows Phone 7.1.

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Users of these platforms will no longer be able to use the popular messaging app unless they switch to newer systems by the end of the year. However, later versions of Android, including 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher, will still be capable of sending WhatsApp messages.

The company cited technical development limitations with regard to these legacy platforms as the reason for its decision.

Some so-called feature phones – low-end handsets featuring some basic multimedia and internet capabilities – still run Nokia’s S40 and S60 operating systems, but have become largely unfashionable with the rise of smartphones.

Windows Phone 7 has already been replaced by Windows Phone 8 and, more recently, by Windows 10 Mobile. The Android versions Eclair and Froyo, with their numerous vulnerabilities that are no longer being fixed, are also considered to be outdated.

BlackBerry has switched gears by opting for Android instead of its own BlackBerry 10 for its new smartphone Priv.

In future, the development of WhatsApp is to focus on newer versions of Android, iOS and Windows, which are now used by the vast majority of users, the company says.

When the messenger was launched in 2009, more than 70 percent of smartphones still ran Nokia and BlackBerry operating systems. Today’s top dogs Android and iOS accounted for less than 25 percent of the mobile devices sold at that time.

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