Messaging platform, WhatsApp to boot off unsupported smartphones

Many may remember the transition from Mxit to BBM and then BBM to WhatsApp like it was yesterday, but the breakup between the green app and its many users may come sooner and not amicably so.

As of Monday, November 1, 2021, some older models of Android and iOS devices will no longer be compatible with WhatsApp.

The Facebook-owned messaging app regularly updates throughout the year which has seen the introduction of many features. Such as statuses, in-app video and voice calls, deleting messages, voice notes and the recent disappearing messages.

However, with such progress and innovation there will be collateral damage, this time the 43 incompatible Android and iOS devices.

According to an article by The South African, the app will only be compatible with devices running on versions of Android OS 4.1 and newer, iOS 9 and above and KaiOS 2.5.1 or above. This includes all Samsung Galaxies, iPhones from the first generation (SE) to all versions of the iPhone 4 and all LG phones in the Optimus range says Business Insider India.

Incompatible phones will no longer receive support and  updates from the app. Eventually the older versions will decrease in functionality and become more difficult to use,  essentially forcing users  to either buy a new phone or delete the app altogether.

Samsung Galaxy tablet owner, Levy Mokoena, tells Wits Vuvuzela that, “The Internet is used by everyone and that opens it up to good and bad. Systems that may not be up to date in terms of security are vulnerable. People have their information stolen, they get scammed and their data gets lost. But South Africa is not like America and we cannot afford to just upgrade and update all the time.”

iPhone XR user, Selele Kotu suggests that software and application updates should be able to be compatible with the device for as long as it works and not have to burden the customer.

“Regarding iPhone, it already had the rights to the WhatsApp and POI act prior to the changes. [Most] iPhone users have already benefited from this surcharge as the software for the phone allows us to not worry about upgrades,” IT specialist and iPhone XR owner, Boipelo Rapodile mentions.

It is evident that information technology services like WhatsApp essentially force its users to update to the newest device in order to keep using their services. The relationship between you and your device may not even be guaranteed to reach its three-year leather anniversary.

FEATURED IMAGE: Cracks in the user and WhatsApp relationship are showing Photo: Kemiso Wessie