WhatsApp Halts Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry OS Support

WhatsApp is officially pulling the plug on Windows Phone 8.0 (and older) and BlackBerry OS, at the end of this year.

With less than a week to go, the Facebook-owned unit announced it would cease support for its app on these platforms from 31 December 2017. However users should still be able to use WhatsApp on these platforms after the cut-off date.

It comes after WhatsApp had in January 2017 granted a temporary stay of execution for BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and 2.2, Windows Phone 7 and the iPhone 3GS and iOS 6 smartphones.

Winding Down

But now in its FAQ post, WhatsApp explained that currently Android versions older than 2.3.3; Windows Phone 7; iPhone 3GS/iOS 6; and Nokia Symbian S60 are no longer supported.

And from 31 December, BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10; as well as Windows Phone 8.0 and older, will no longer be supported.

“For the following platforms, you can no longer create new accounts, nor re-verify existing accounts,” said WhatsApp. “However, you’ll be able to continue using WhatsApp,” although it warned that as it “will no longer actively develop for these platforms, some features may stop functioning at any time.”

“These platforms don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future,” the messaging app stated. “If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer OS version, or to a newer Android running OS 4.0+, iPhone running iOS 7+, or Windows Phone 8.1+ so that you can continue using WhatsApp.”

For those people migrating away from the older none supported platform, WhatsApp reminded them that its app can only be activated with one phone number on one device at a time.

It also said there was currently no option to transfer people’s chat history between platforms. However, it does provide the option to send a person’s chat history attached to an email, and provided instruction links on its web page.

Migration Options

So the best advice for BlackBerry users at the moment if they want to keep using a supported WhatApp product, is to migrate to an Android-powered BlackBerry device.

For Windows Phone users, the advice is also pretty clear cut.

The end is here, despite the fact that users of Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile devices, should still receive WhatsApp updates going forward.

But the problem is that both Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile are essentially dead operating systems, as Microsoft is no longer developing or supporting these platforms.

Indeed, Microsoft has already pulled support of its own Skype app for Windows Phone 8.1 users.

This means that Windows Phone or Windows 10 users, really need to make the painful switch to either Android or iOS.

In September Microsoft co founder Bill Gates revealed that he had already “switched” to an Android smartphone.

Quiz: What do you know about BlackBerry?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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