Still holding out for that perfect phone? Are you attached to your perfectly functioning Nokia Windows phone? 2017 might be the year that you’ll be forced to upgrade your smartphone. Ubiquitous messenger WhatsApp will soon phase out support to older smartphones and mobile operating systems this new year. Changes in the Facebook-owned app will affect Windows, Android and iOS devices.
This gradual phasing out by WhatsApp will force thousands of users to upgrade their smartphones, most especially Android and Windows phone users who (unlike Apple which has iMessenger) are very much dependent on the instant messaging app. Which smartphones will be affected by the WhatsApp phaseout? Read on.
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Why the forced WhatsApp upgrade? Which phones will be affected
With over a billion users, this WhatsApp upgrade will affect a lot of users. This move by WhatsApp was announced early last December in an official blog post by the popular messaging app.
In the post, the company explained that the phase out was necessary, since the modern tech requirements of the app are no longer supported by these older smartphones; the announcement was made in the same day as the tech company’s 7th year anniversary. In the statement issued by WhatsApp, the company wants to focus all their development efforts “on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.” This means that smartphones that run on the Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 operating system are out of luck this year. Smartphones running on the Windows Phone 7 OS will lose official WhatsApp support as well, along with Apple devices that are still running iOS 6.
Furthermore, by June 2017, devices running the Nokia S40 and the Nokia Symbian S60 will no longer be supported by the WhatsApp application. Staunch Blackberry users will find themselves shut off from WhatsApp by June as well; only Blackberry devices running on Android (like the Blackberry Priv) can run Whatsapp come June.
How to backup and transfer your WhatsApp data
People who plan on upgrading their phones to a newer model can follow these simple steps to backup and restore their WhatsApp data to another device:
- Go to WhatsApp settings on your old phone and navigate to Chats > Chat Backup > tap on the Backup now button.
- On the new handset, confirm your mobile number (which must be the same as the one you used in the older device), and then you will be prompted to restore your chat history. Agree to the question and you should have all your backup chats installed on your new device.
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