WhatsApp has made a massive change to its supported list of devices. WhatsApp will now support Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread or older devices until February 1, 2020. As per the recent Android distribution numbers, there are still 0.3% of Android Gingerbread smartphone users, which accounts for close to 3.9 million users. Since 2010, WhatsApp is supported on Android Gingerbread devices, so the new deadline means the instant messaging platform will be supporting a single iteration of Android for ten years and that’s not a small feat at all. WhatsApp also stated that it would be ending support for iOS 7 on February 2, 2020.
Android is now found on more than 1.3 billion smartphones right now and a 0.3% users seem to be a very small number. So there’s still 19 months of time left for the Android Gingerbread smartphone users to upgrade to a new smartphone, or lose out the support for WhatsApp. The same applies to Apple iOS 7 users as they also have the same 19 months of time to get a new smartphone running the latest software.
To recall, WhatsApp has ended support for Windows Phone 8.0, BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 smartphones on December 31, 2017. The Nokia S40 devices will not be supported after December 31, 2018, and the next deadline will be for the Android Gingerbread and iOS 7 users itself.
WhatsApp made this announcement via a blog post and on the whole, this is a good move for the users. However, this doesn’t mean that every feature rolled out by WhatsApp will be added to Android Gingerbread and iOS 7 users. There will be some features which may not work on older smartphones and that’s completely understandable.
WhatsApp will be rolling out group video calling and audio calling along with WhatsApp Stickers features in the next few weeks. The Facebook-owned company is working on various new features such as more controls for group admins, reducing the spam and various other features. It will be interesting to see how the development goes for WhatsApp Gingerbread and iOS 7 users in the future.