There are always new versions of mobile phones as well as updates to their operating systems. WhatsApp made the decision to stop supporting some of the older devices and platforms. Nevertheless, because they had got used to using the app on a regular basis, WhatsApp users have found it very difficult to stop using this service. It’s the same when you get used to playing in an online mobile casino. So how would you feel about being forced to change your device in such circumstances?
WhatsApp in numbers
- WhatsApp is popular all over the world and has 1.5 billion active users in over 180 countries.
- WhatsApp users find this messaging platform very addictive, and average users check their account more than 23 times each day.
- A WhatsApp account remains live if accessed at least once a month, but 58% of users admit to accessing WhatsApp several times per day.
- Experts have predicted that the number of US WhatsApp users will hit 25.6 million by 2021.
- In terms of Android app downloads, WhatsApp is the third most popular download app in the world.
- Despite its popularity, WhatsApp is still banned in 12 countries.
- In the commercial world, there are 3 million companies using the WhatsApp Business app.
- WhatsApp proudly boasts it does not have a marketing department and in fact spent zero cash on marketing, PR, and user acquisition.
- The WhatsApp messaging empire employs just 55 workers and 50 engineers.
Confirming WhatsApp’s new support arrangements
WhatsApp currently provides support for Android phones which are equipped with OS 4.0.3 and above. And for the iPhone range, WhatsApp can now be used on Apple devices running iOS 8 and above. In addition, users will find that WhatsApp is also available on smartphones which are currently running the KaiOS 2.5.1 and above – this, of course, includes not only the JioPhone but also the JioPhone 2.
With one of the above devices and operating platforms it’s easy to install and use WhatsApp once you have verified your phone number. It’s important for users to bear in mind that you can only activate WhatsApp on one of your devices, and can only use one active phone number. And don’t forget too that, if you happen to change platforms, you will not be able to move your chat history to the new platform. However, as a workaround, chat histories can still be exported when formatted as an e-mail attachment.
The bad news is that WhatsApp will be unavailable for any Windows Phone operating systems as from December 31, 2019. Furthermore, for both iOS 7 and older as well as Android versions 2.3.7 and older, users will be unable to create new accounts, nor will they be permitted to reverify any existing accounts. However, both these specified groups of Android and iOS WhatsApp users will be allowed to continue using their present accounts until the cut-off point on February 1, 2020. But from that date onwards, these users will no longer be able to operate their accounts. WhatsApp also warn that because the company ‘no longer actively develop for these operating systems’ there is also a chance that some WhatsApp features ‘might stop functioning at any time’.
Alternative messaging apps
Here are some popular alternatives to WhatsApp messaging:
- Facebook Messenger (Android, iOS: Free)
Now offering a more streamlined layout, Facebook Messenger is a dominant presence in the American market. It can be used to send mobile text and voice messages and also voice and video calls. Facebook Messenger is a feature-rich platform with many useful add-ons and extensions. Take care to block Facebook’s attempts to share your data.
The most important messaging app on the Chinese market, WeChat can also be used as a social media app and a digital payment platform. It also has a GPS feature and will help you locate any of your friends who are close to your location. There are over a billion WeChat users, and some are located in other countries.
- Tencent QQ
Also known as QQ mobile, Tencent QQ is an in-house instant messaging software service created by the major Chinese tech company Tencent. As well as its messaging facility, QQ mobile also offers a popular mix of online multi-player games, shopping, music and movies, a micro-blogging platform, plus both group- and voice-chat software.
- Skype (Android, iOS, Windows: Free)
Even though Microsoft Skype is perhaps better known as a video and voice-call platform, it does also offer its own instant messaging function. This enables Skype users to forward text, photos and short video messages to others with a Skype account. This feature is available to both online and offline users.
- Snapchat (Android, iOS: Free)
A popular messaging app which includes a self-destruct, time-limited photo and video sharing option, Snapchat has become the sharing social media app of choice for many younger users. As well as the ability to send disappearing text, photo and video messages, Snapchat has also developed its own very useable range of comic filters and phote-editing tools.