Home Technology WhatsApp Leaving BlackBerry Ltd, Nokia And Others Behind

WhatsApp Leaving BlackBerry Ltd, Nokia And Others Behind

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Messaging service WhatsApp recently celebrated its seventh birthday, and decided to mark the occasion by saying goodbye to some old friends.WhatsApp, which is now owned by Facebook, announced that it will no longer provide support for seven aging mobile operating systems from the end of 2016. The list includes several operating systems that have seen user numbers dwindle.

Users of legacy operating systems set to lose WhatsApp

Among those that are set to lose their WhatsApp connectivity is Blackberry 10, along with all previous versions of the Blackberry operating system. Others include Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and 2.2 (Eclair and Froyo), and Windows Phone 7.1.

According to WhatsApp the operating systems are being cut off because they will not be able to support some of the new features that will be introduced to the messaging service in the next few months.

The company claims that it will focus on “the mobile platforms the cast majority of people use” instead of catering to the ever-smaller number of users that have stuck with legacy operating systems.

Some users will lose incredibly popular app

WhatsApp has nearly one billion monthly active users around the world, and has become widely used not just for social messaging but for business. The app has become an essential part of life for many smartphone users.

Given its huge user base it wouldn’t be surprising if WhatsApp’s decision upset a lot of people. However it is easy to understand the logic behind the decision. In the case of Blackberry the operating system has struggled to hold onto users for years, and has dropped away even from Windows phones in terms of user base according to the latest data.

Although some users may be upset the company has given ample notice for affected users to get themselves a different smartphone. You have until the end of the year to upgrade to a WhatsApp compatible handset, although the exact dates have not been announced.

When a smartphone maker hints at dropping its own operating system in favor of Android, why would app developers be tempted to continue providing support?

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Brendan Byrne

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