We live in a world where mobile technology plays a major role in our lives- we use it to shop, learn, play, manage our money and communicate- as well as countless other things. In order to be able to use the very latest platforms to their full capacity, most of us understand that we’ll need to buy new devices every few years. But WhatsApp’s recent announcement that millions of phones will be unable to keep up with their latest version of software has come at an unfortunate time for those who are trying to look after the pennies with Christmas just around the corner. Changes in technology mean that many devices will no longer be WhatsApp compatible by the end of 2016, so if you want to be able to send your loved ones Christmas and New Year messages it’s a good idea to check your position before it’s too late.
With over a billion users across 180 countries, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging service in the world. Since its launch in 2009, it’s gained popularity with everyone from confident IT professionals to technophobes for its simple user interface and inexpensive form of communication- unlike texting, it’s completely free to use if you have an internet connection. Sold to Facebook in 2014 for a staggering $22billion, it’s had a huge impact on how we communicate.
Not everyone has been a big fan of everything WhatsApp can do, though. The introduction of end–to-end encryption in April 2016 sparked controversy with many, including President Obama. Concerns were raised about how this new level of privacy would affect things like National security, and with everything hidden from the authorities there was a worry that paedophile rings and terrorist plots could easily be encouraged rather than stopped. Others believe it’s the most revolutionary communication platform ever created- it’s fast, personal and the group chat function allows us to say the things we wouldn’t necessarily want to on a public platform.
If you’re worried that it might be time to buy a new phone, here are the handsets that will no longer be compatible:
- iPhone: 3GS and any 4/4S, 5/5s that hasn’t been updated with iOS10
- Any iPad that was released prior to the 4th Generation in 2012
(to check your current operating system and see if you can update your device go to Settings, General, then Software Update)
- Any android devices using 2.1 or 2.2 software (made between May 2010 and November 2011)
- Android’s latest version, 7.0, aka Nougat is still not being used on many devices yet. Check in the settings menu
- Windows 7 phones – even Microsoft themselves stopped using this platform in 2014
There’s some good news for Blackberry and Nokia fans though- WhatsApp will still be accessible on all devices until June 2017.
With Christmas just around the corner, we think Santa might be visiting a lot of phone shops over the next couple of weeks…
Good Read: Best Smartphones of 2016