They’re undeniably popular the world over, but messaging service WhatsApp has announced it’s time to drop support for some mobile operating systems and there’s going to be some Android users affected – but, it should have minimal impact.
WhatsApp has announced that they’ll kill off support for a range of operating systems which includes BlackBerry (Yep, that’s you BlackBerry 10 as well), Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Windows Phone 7.1 and more importantly for us: Android 2.1 and Android 2.2.
Before you grab those freshly sharpened pitchforks and light up those torches, Android 2.1 doesn’t even appear on the Android distribution numbers list that Google releases every month, and Android 2.2 makes up only 0.1% of those numbers.
Those numbers seem low, but it’s still at least 1.4 million devices if the 1.4 billion devices statistic Google announced last year hasn’t grown (which it very likely has) – and doesn’t take into account Android devices not using Google Play which are popular in developing markets where WhatsApp is popular.
But WhatsApp is looking forward, looking to include security features and more ways to stay in touch and devices running these operating systems don’t offer what WhatsApp need to build these functions, with WhatsApp saying:
While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.
So, what’s the plan moving forward? Well, if you do use a device running one of these OS’s (You’re on Eclair or FroYo still? You Monster!!) WhatsApp (and we) recommend you update your device. Obviously this isn’t such a simple thing for some people, but certainly a good thing to consider from a basic security standpoint.
All good things come to an end, and for people running these versions of various mobile OS’s that time is now.