It might be a good idea to replace that old smartphone this Christmas, particularly if it’s running any version of Android earlier than 2.3 Gingerbread, Windows Phone 7 or iOS 6, and you’re a frequent user of WhatsApp.
Earlier in 2016, WhatsApp announced it was on the verge of discontinuing its service on phones running the above operating systems in order to “focus [its] efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use”, and which it says offer “the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future”.
It seems that WhatsApp intends to stick to its end of 2016 deadline for older Android, Windows, and iOS devices.
However, the deadline for older BlackBerry and Nokia devices has been pushed back to June 30 2017, which is good news if you own a Nokia S40, a Symbian S60 or a BlackBerry running the proprietary BB OS.
You can't teach an old phone new tricks
What does WhatsApp suggest is the best course of action for these older handset owners? Upgrade your phone, basically.
This won’t be the easy option for everyone, of course, but if WhatsApp wants to be able to improve and add to the features it offers in order to keep up with the competition, older handsets that are unable to support these features have to fall by the wayside.
WhatsApp isn’t the only service forced into this position; handset makers themselves often stop providing updates and repair services to their older devices in order to concentrate on moving forward.
If you’re affected by this, but you’re not sure you can justify the cost of a new phone just to stay in your favourite WhatsApp groups, why not take a look at our best cheap smartphones list for an upgrade that won’t break the bank?
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.