WhatsApp will continue supporting Android Gingerbread all the way up until 2020

WhatsApp will continue supporting Android Gingerbread all the way up until 2020
According to the latest official numbers, Android versions bearing the Gingerbread name account for just 0.8 percent of total Android usage. This sure isn't much when looked at through the lens of the overall smartphone market, but it still accounts for tens of thousands of devices. And as it turns out, Facebook is one of the few companies out there still willing to acknowledge that fact – and take appropriate actions with its services.

That is to say, the company has just released the latest revision of its platform support plans for WhatsApp, outlining exactly when legacy OS users will be forcibly cut off from the service. Previous versions of the plan killed off support for Windows Phone 7, iOS 6, and Android versions 2.2 and below. The latest update, however, gives us some hard deadlines for a couple of other platforms as well, after which WhatsApp will no longer work:

  • Nokia Symbian S60 after June 30, 2017
  • BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 after December 31, 2017
  • Windows Phone 8.0 and older after December 31, 2017
  • Nokia S40 after December 31, 2018
  • Android versions 2.3.7 and older after February 1, 2020

And while the deadlines for most other platforms seem pretty reasonable, the one for Android 2.3.7 Marshmallow is certainly eyebrow-raising. At least it is until you take into consideration the fact that WhatsApp enjoys great popularity in developing countries, where older devices are much more common. So clearly someone at WhatsApp did the math, and concluded these customers are important – a commendable move from the most popular messaging app in the world.

However, it's certainly worth noting that "works on Android Gingerbread" is a bit of an overstatement. To quote the blog post, "Because we will no longer actively develop for these platforms, some features may stop functioning at any time." So the 2020 deadline is actually the point at which the service will start actively refusing, instead of quietly tolerating, serving Gingerbread-based devices, which by that time will be about nine years old.

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6 Comments

1. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Haleluya!!!!! Poor Android users.....

2. Tizo101

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

or the conclusion could be just the number of ppl still using those versions as android enjoys an almost complete monopoly in smartphones... use your heads guys - they are not for decorations.

3. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

They should do it for anything below 4.4

4. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

2.3.7 Marshmallow?

5. rbsoft

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

How much money will Mr. Zuckerberg from OEMs receive for playing as a determining factor in the programmed obsolescence processes?

6. samsandy

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 12, 2018

You would expect more from a facebook company, money can't be the problem. You can however keep the devices secure, releasing security updated, but no feature update.

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