WhatsApp will stop working for MILLIONS of users with older smartphones on New Year’s Day
- iOS9 and Android 4.0.3 will no longer be supported as of January 1, 2021
- iOS 9 was the last software update the iPhone 4 could receive and will be cut off
- Users with these devices will lose access to their chats and their contents
WhatsApp users who use the app on an iPhone 4 or older and outdated Android handsets will be unable to use the app properly as of January 1, 2021.
The Facebook-owned messaging platform is stopping support for iOS 9, the operating software released by Apple in 2015.
Non-Apple users with an older device will also be affected if their device still runs Android 4.0.3.
iOS9 and Android 4.0.3 will no longer be supported as of January 1, 2021. iOS 9 was the last software update the iPhone 4 could receive and will be cut off
Which phones are affected?
The update is focused around the operating systems iOS9 for iPhones and Android 4.0.3.
They were released in 201 and 2011, respectively.
Only phones which have this as their current operating system are affected.
No iPhones released after the 4 are impacted, just the 4, 3GS and earlier.
There are less Android phones which are impacted as they must be around a decade old.
However, the Samsung Galaxy S2 will be one of the affected devices.
iOS 9 was the last software update the iPhone 4 could receive, with later models able to upgrade to newer versions. Apple released iOS 14 in September 2020.
Models like the 4S, 5, 5S, 5C, 6 and 6S can all be updated in order to keep WhatsApp functioning on the phone.
Android 4.0.3 was released in 2011 and replaced the following year.
The move to stop support for older devices is a regular tactic of app developers which frees up resources to be focused on improving the product for the majority of users who have more modern handsets.
However, WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular apps, with 2 billion users.
WhatsApp is also popular around the world, in places where cheap and older smartphones are still commonplace.
Users concerned about losing access to their WhatsApp should check their phone’s settings to find out if they run either iOS 9 or Android 4.0.3.
For phones which can not be updated to run more recent software the app will stop working properly as 2021 dawns.
These users will need to either export their chars and save their messages or upgrade their phone to avoid losing access to their chats and their contents.
MailOnline has approached WhatsApp for comment.
Pictured L-R: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6. iOS 9 was the last software update the iPhone 4 could receive, with later models able to upgrade to newer versions. Apple released iOS 14 in September 2020
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Top of Apple’s list of the most-downloaded free iPhone apps in the UK is Zoom Cloud Meetings, reflecting users’ increasing reliance on video calls to accommodate working from home.
Taking the second spot is the NHS Covid-19 app, released late September as a tool to help alert users if they have been in close proximity with anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
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