WHATSAPP is about to block millions of older smartphones – but which ones are affected. The WhatsApp block will take place in just a few weeks, affecting both iPhone and Android.
The affected users will need to either buy a new phone or update their software if they can. Some users will have handsets that are too old to update – forcing them to pay for new smartphones. The deadline is November 1, at this date users of older phones will be blocked from WhatsApp.
Android phones blocked – which ones are affected?
More than 40 different smartphone models are expected to be affected. For Android users, you’ll need to be running Android 4.1 or later. That means a lot of popular phones will lose access to the most popular chatting app, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Huawei Ascend Mate.
For Apple, you’ll lose access to an iPhone 4S or older. That’s because iOS 10 can’t be installed on the iPhone 4S or earlier. And if you’ve never updated your iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus or iPhone SE (2016) – or iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 variants – you’ll lose access until you update.
That’s because they launched on iOS 9 or older. But you can update all three models to iOS 15 – the latest version – and keep access to WhatsApp.
On iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software Update to find your iOS version.
Why is WhatsApp blocking old phones?
Tech companies regularly stop supporting older devices. Google did just that with old Android phones for Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps.
Sometimes it’s because it’s simply not cost-efficient to keep apps working on very old versions of iOS or Android. That’s especially the case if only a small percentage of users are running these old versions of software.
Using outdated software can also be a huge security risk – so it’s important you update, or upgrade if you can’t.