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PSA: Some Android users are about to lose their WhatsApp service. Beginning next month, WhatsApp will stop supporting Android 4.0.4 and older. Depreciation generally applies to devices released more than eight years ago, like the Samsung Galaxy Trend Lite or the LG Lucid 2. Users planning to upgrade after November 1 should back up their chat logs before then.
WhatsApp users with older Android phones may soon find themselves cut off from service. Starting November 1, WhatsApp will pull support on Android phones running Android 4.0.4 or older. The new official standard is Android 4.1 (Jellybean) or newer. The move follows the company dropping support for iOS 9 back in March.
Discontinuing support on older operating systems is nothing new. WhatsApp and many other companies update system requirements about once a year. The reason is that these aging operating systems no longer get regular security updates. The last update for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) was in June 2012, with Google officially discontinuing it in 2018. It only represents a very small section of Android users (0.2 percent as of July 2020).
Even still, Android 4.1's final update was in October 2013, and Google ended support last July. So WhatsApp continues to run on Android versions as old as eight years. For iOS, WhatsApp is a bit more stringent, supporting nothing older than iOS 10, which was last patched two years ago.
Affected devices range from Samsung to Huawei. The easiest way to tell if the change will affect your phone is to look in the settings to see which version of Android it uses. If it is version 4.0.4 or older and has no option to update, that device is unsupported.
WhatsApp urges affected users to upgrade their devices before November 1. If getting a newer phone is not practical at this time, users should save their chat histories. WhatsApp posted instructions on its support pages. Users can restore chat logs once they have the app installed on a compliant device.
Image credit: Mohamed Hassan