Tech

WhatsApp Drops Support for Older Android Devices Still Running Ice Cream Sandwich

PSA: Some Android users may lose WhatsApp service. Starting next month, WhatsApp will no longer support Android 4.0.4 and older. Amortization usually applies to devices more than eight years old, such as the Samsung Galaxy Trend Lite or LG Lucid 2. Users planning to upgrade after November 1st should back up their chat logs before doing so.

WhatsApp users with older Android phones may soon find themselves disconnected from service. From November 1, WhatsApp will be pull support on Android phones running Android 4.0.4 or earlier. The new official standard is Android 4.1 (Jellybean) or newer. The movement follows the company the fall iOS 9 support back in March.

Dropping support for older operating systems is not new. WhatsApp and many other companies update system requirements about once a year. The reason is that these legacy operating systems no longer receive regular security updates. The last update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) was in June 2012, officially by Google. termination in 2018. It represents only a very small fraction of Android users (0.2 percent as of July 2020).

However, the last Android 4.1 update was in October 2013 and Google ended support last July. Thus, WhatsApp continues to run on Android versions that are eight years old. For iOS, WhatsApp is a bit stricter, doesn’t support anything older than iOS 10, the last patch of which was updated two years ago.

Affected devices range from Samsung to Huawei. The easiest way to find out if a change will affect your phone is to look in the settings for which version of Android it is using. If it is version 4.0.4 or earlier and is not upgradeable, this device is not supported.

WhatsApp encourages affected users to update their devices by November 1st. If purchasing a new phone is not feasible at this time, users should keep their chat history. Whatsapp published instructions on its support pages. Users can recover chat logs after installing the app on a compatible device.

Image Credit: Mohamed Hasan


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