WhatsApp is currently used by more than two billion users around the world, as many as on Facebook or YouTube. With a strong presence in emerging markets, such as India or Africa, the tool is designed to be as accessible as possible and it works on a wide variety of devices.
However, over the years, WhatsApp has also regularly closed the door to certain systems deemed too obsolete.
The year 2021 will unfortunately not be an exception to the rule and the solution will therefore cease to work on many smartphones.
WhatsApp will no longer support iPhones running on a version older than iOS 9
And we open the ball with the iPhone. Next year, to be able to continue to benefit from WhatsApp, it will be essential to have a device running iOS 9.
Apple, as you know, is quite generous in terms of backward compatibility, but this decision will still leave a lot of smartphones behind. Specifically the iPhone 4 and all previous models.
If the latter are showing their age, they are still widely used in emerging markets, not everyone necessarily having the desire, or the means, to change iPhone every year.
There is, however, a second problem to highlight. This measure also means that people with an iPhone 4s, an iPhone 5, an iPhone 5S, an iPhone 5C or even an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6s will have to migrate to iOS. 9. However, we know that if the platform works with models that are often very obsolete, this still affects their general performance. This is also the reason why it is better, after a while, not to install the updates offered by Apple.
Read also: 5 essential tips for WhatsApp
And on the Android side then?
On the Android side, the fragmentation is a little more pronounced, as the platform is used by more manufacturers.
And there again, you will have to think about updating your device if you can, because WhatsApp will no longer work on versions previous to Android 4.0.3 from next year.
So once again, if we think only from our market, this measure will not affect many people. However, the world is not limited to France, nor even to European borders. In Africa, India or even Latin America, many have no choice but to use old – sometimes very old – smartphones.
Still, WhatsApp does not offer other solutions. And knowing that manufacturers of Android smartphones are a little less focused on backward compatibility, that also means that it will impact many devices around the world.