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WhatsApp to stop working on millions of phones

WhatsApp will soon drop support for another round of older versions of iOS and Android. As described in WhatsApp’s recently updated system requirements, you must have a device that runs at least iOS 9 or Android 4.0.3 in order to access WhatsApp after January 1, 2021.

Notable devices losing WhatsApp support next year include the iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S2, and the Droid Razr.

WhatsApp’s move is hardly surprising. All technology gets left behind at some point, and this now seems to be an annual tradition for WhatsApp. Last year, the company removed even older Android devices, iPhones, and all Windows phones from its list of supported devices, and we suspect there will be another round of cuts in twelve months.

These changes are likely due to Facebook’s recent integration of WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram direct messages into a single, cross-platform service that doesn’t play nicely with older operating systems.

That said, most of the affected devices are around ten years old and are no longer supported with OS updates themselves. So, if you’re still clutching an ancient iPhone, this might be yet another sign that it’s time to upgrade.

If your device is still eligible but its operating system is not, make sure you update your smartphone to meet the new WhatsApp requirements. You can check your Android version and if there are any updates available under Settings > About Phone. iPhone users can do the same in Settings > General > Software Update.

If your device’s operating system is too low and no update is available, it might also be worth looking into WhatsApp alternatives if you don’t feel like buying a new phone. We can’t guarantee that other chat apps will also support your super-old smartphone, but they’re worth exploring if WhatsApp is cutting you off.

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