If you’re the owner of one of dozens of handsets, clinging on for dear life despite virtual obsolescence, then your days of using WhatsApp are officially numbered.
Once 2020 officially rolls around on Wednesday, support will end for the Facebook-owned platform on Windows Phone/Mobile handsets, as well as those running much older versions of iOS and Android.
Unfortunately, anyone with a Nokia Lumia handset, including devices as recent as the Lumia 650 in 2017, will no longer be able to send and receive messages on WhatsApp after December 31 2019.
The shutdown also affects all iPhone and iPad models still operating on iOS 8, which was released way back on September 17 2014, but that won’t happen until the end of February (via Telegraph).
In theory, that shouldn’t affect too many users, given Apple’s nack of providing a long update tail for its devices. The number of people still using iOS 8 will be negligible, around a fraction of a percent.
As far as Android goes, WhatsApp will be dropping support for versions older than 2.3.7 from February 1 2020 That may affect even fewer people than the iOS 8 drop-off.
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WhatsApp says: “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.”
If you’re using any of the expiring platforms, WhatsApp advises you to back up your chat history and export it as an email attachment before support ends. Here’s how to do it on Windows Phone before the app stops working in *looks at watch* less than 48 hours.
The news is no surprise given Microsoft itself officially ended support for Windows 10 Mobile this month. In an FAQ page, the company wrote: “With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device. Microsoft’s mission statement to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, compels us to support our Mobile apps on those platforms and devices.”