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WhatsApp extends support for older Android versions until 2020

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Due to prevailing fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, Facebook-owned messaging giant WhatsApp has now decided to further extend support of its app for older versions of Android until early 2020. It has even provided BlackBerry, as well as Symbian users, another survival chance by extending its deadline to end 2017 and 2018 respectively.

This shouldn’t come as a sudden surprise for many because this is not the first time WhatsApp has decided to extend the deadline for ending support for the application for these platforms.

Earlier, the messaging giant wanted to end the support for all aforementioned platforms by end of 2016 but the same has now been extended to said specific deadlines. As for the specifics, the blog post has been updated with the following info:

  • Nokia Symbian S60 after June 30, 2017
  • BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 after
  • December 31, 2017 Windows Phone 8.0 and older after December 31, 2017
  • Nokia S40 after December 31, 2018
  • Android versions 2.3.7 and older after February 1, 2020

Though you may still be able to communiate messages to you friends and family with the use of WhatsApp on devices running any of the aforementioned out-of-date software, some of the latest features may never reach you or the ones that already exist may stop functioning properly over time. This has been asserted in the official blog post as under:

Because we will no longer actively develop for these platforms, some features may stop functioning at any time.

As for latest Android distribution numbers, they don’t look as rosy for Nougat as one would expect. It has still only reached a meager 7 odd percent of the users, while others are still heavily reliant on previous iterations, with Lollipop 5.0 and Marshmallow 6.0 accounting for more than 63 percent of the pie. While a major chunk of Android users, about 18 percent, are still stuck on 4.4 Kitkat.

Android Gingerbread 2.3, however, makes only one percent of the market, then WhatsApp extending support for such a minimal number of its users until early 2020 seems unjustified. But, the messaging giant is looking to support as many users as possible until as long as possible. However, there possibly wouldn’t be any Android 2.1, 2.2 or even 2.3 users until 2020.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

anmol@thetechportal.in


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