WhatsApp is set to pull the plug on various smartphone platforms from December 31, 2017. While this news certainly does sound very gloomy and something to get panicked about, it is actually quite benign. In fact, WhatsApp will work normally for 99 percent of you once the new year breaks cover.
Here are the top 5 thing to know about WhatsApp's somewhat controversial decision:
1. WhatsApp is dropping support for a number of outdated platforms in a bid to focus on iOS and Android - mobile platforms used by a majority of users out there. In WhatsApp's own words - "This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp."
2. WhatsApp will stop working on smartphones running on Blackberry OS and BlackBerry 10 from December 31,2017. Blackberry OS is an extremely dated operating system (released in 1999) that powered legendary smartphones such as the Blackberry Bold. The fact that Blackberry supported it for as long as it did is in itself a big deal. Blackberry 10 was its ambitious replacement which failed to give iOS and Android a run for its money and was eventually forgotten by Blackberry themselves.
3. WhatsApp will also stop working on smartphones running Windows Phone 8.0 (and below). The axing of the messaging platform from Windows Phone 8.0 is slightly more controversial as there are still a small pocket of WP loyalists who cherish their smartphones. However surprising it may seem, there are still many Windows Phone handsets out there alive and breathing fine whose users will be unable to communicate with their friends and family.
4. WhatsApp is also set to stop working on feature phones running on the Nokia S40 platform from December 31, 2018. Yes, believe it or not but Nokia used to make feature phones with WhatsApp support once upon a time. S40 quite an old platform which hasn't seen a new phone release in a long while and WhatsApp is giving existing users more than enough time to upgrade to a new phone.
5. Lastly, WhatsApp will stop working on Android smartphones running on Android versions older than Android Gingerbread 2.3.7 after February 1, 2020. Whether this will be controversial or not remains to be seen. While there is hope that the Android world would have moved on to newer versions by 2020 and Gingerbread would be nothing but a relic of the past, given Android's abysmal update rate there is a chance Gingerbread smartphones will be still alive and kicking in two years time.