WhatsApp plans on blocking older phone users in 2020

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The popular chat app has warned users with older phones that they will need to upgrade their handset to continue using the service and now we know the cut-off date and the models affected.

The deadline for ageing Windows smartphone will be followed by blocks for i Phones running anything older than iOS 7 and Android devices with versions 2.3.7 installed. This iPhone and Android block will come into force from February 1, 2020.

If you love WhatsApp and have any of the phones mentioned or have not updated your operating system in a few years, you will need to get an upgrade to something a little more recent.

The changes could mostly affect older people who may not upgrade to the latest models on a regular basis and if you have somebody in your family WhatsApp using an older phone you may want to let them know about the changes.

WhatsApp upgrades made since mid-2017 have meant the service has stopped working on a range of phones including Nokia Symbian S60s, BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 and Nokia S40s.

The latest upgrades will affect;

  • All Windows Phone operating systems after December 31, 2019
  • Android versions 2.3.7 and older after February 1, 2020
  • i Phone iOS 7 and older after February 1, 2020

Justifying the decision to stop supporting older hardware, WhatsApp said in a blog post:

“As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.

“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. 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 using WhatsApp.

“If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone to continue using WhatsApp.”

In other news, the new WhatsApp loading screen has made some of the app users threaten to delete the app. Facebook has owned WhatsApp for several years now but the popular messaging app has been largely unaffected by this.

The biggest problems with the new loading page, which appears when you first open the app, seem to be that it states “from Facebook” and takes a bit longer for the app to load. The message appears in grey and green underneath the WhatsApp logo. The rest of the loading page is blank and it only appears for a brief second.

Users have been questioning its purpose and are even threatening to delete the app because it annoys them so much.

Some of the users took their complaints to tweeter.

One man tweeted:

“Really want to delete WhatsApp every time I see this ‘from Facebook’ loading page.”

Another said:

“Nice that they’ve “improved” @WhatsApp such that you have to put up with a loading screen each time you run it.”

One angry WhatsApp user even tweeted Facebook directly and said:

“@WhatsApp @facebook hey can you remove the “from Facebook” tag on the loading screen of WhatsApp, you may have bought the app years ago, but no one wants to be reminded Facebook has anything to do with it.”

We have reached out to Facebook for comment on whether the loading screen is here to stay. Facebook bought WhatsApp from its original owners back in 2014.

WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum, former employees of Yahoo. It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users.

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