WhatsApp Drops Support for Outdated Android Version – What It Means for Users

WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform owned by Meta, has recently made a significant change in its support system. The company has decided to discontinue further updates for smartphones running on Android 4.4, also known as Android KitKat. This move comes several months after Google rendered these older handsets obsolete. While the number of users still running on Android KitKat is small, it is essential for them to update their software or switch to a newer handset to continue using WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Increases Minimum Requirements

According to feature tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has raised its minimum requirements and will now only support smartphones running on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or newer. This means that users with smartphones on Android KitKat, which was released in September 2013, will no longer receive updates or new features from WhatsApp.

Recent statistics released by Google indicate that the percentage of users running on Android KitKat in May 2023 was between 0.5 and 0.7 percent. This suggests that the number of users still using this outdated operating system is relatively small. However, for those who fall within this category, it is crucial to take action to either update their software if available or consider getting a more modern smartphone.

If users fail to update their smartphones to at least Android 5.0, they will no longer receive updates or access new features on WhatsApp. This means missing out on benefits such as support for passkeys, a redesigned bottom navigation bar, and upcoming features like the multi-account feature with support for switching between numbers.

For the users currently on Android KitKat, the next course of action is either to update their smartphones to Android 5.0 if a software update is available from the manufacturer or switch to a more modern smartphone that supports the minimum requirements for WhatsApp. Upgrading the software is the ideal solution if it is possible, as it can save users the cost of investing in a new device.

The decision taken by WhatsApp to drop support for Android KitKat highlights the rapid pace at which technology advances. Smartphone manufacturers and software developers are constantly pushing for innovation and improvements, leaving older operating systems behind. While it may be inconvenient for some users to update their software or switch to a new device, it is necessary to keep up with the evolving technology landscape.

WhatsApp’s decision to drop support for Android KitKat is a clear signal of the company’s commitment to providing its users with the latest features and updates. While it may impact a small number of users, it serves as a reminder of the need to stay up to date with technology. Users still on Android KitKat should consider their options and take the necessary steps to ensure uninterrupted access to WhatsApp and its future advancements.

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