WhatsApp has announced that effective in 2017, support for several legacy mobile OS versions has been or will be eliminated. For Android, Eclair (version 2.1) and Froyo (version 2.2) are on the list. What this means is if you are running a device with Android 2.1 or 2.2 (which begs the question, why?) you will no longer get support from WhatsApp for any issues. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the app on your phone will quit working, just that future updates may not be available (highly likely).
Android wasn’t the only OS impacted. Support for BlackBerry OS and Blackberry 10 was dropped as well as Nokia Symbian S60 and Windows Phone 7. Here is the complete list:
- BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10
- Nokia S40
- Nokia Symbian S60
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Windows Phone 7
- iPhone 3GS/iOS 6
As you can see, all of these are rather old mobile OS builds.
Joining the ranks of Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Skype and Google Hangouts, WhatsApp has finally added video calling to the popular messaging app. The update comes after several weeks in beta testing and the service will be using parent company Facebook’s data centers for the video calling functionality. The updated version of the Android and iOS app will be rolling out over the course of the next few days.
In order for video calls to work, both parties in the call will have to be running the latest version of the app so it make take a few days for all of your contacts to get the update – thus being able to make video calls.
In a blog post on the WhatsApp site, the company has announced that they are rolling out their service and app free-of-charge going forward. The Facebook owned instant messaging service has nearly a billion subscribers and while the entry price of .99 Cents was not much, the company wanted to eliminate the fee all together so those without access to credit cards can access the service.
Many WhatsApp users don’t have a debit or credit card number and they worried they’d lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we’ll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service.
It is an interesting move and one that will surely heat up the instant messaging battle that is going on in the market.
The roll out of the total free WhatsApp service will be taking place over the course of the next few weeks. Users on Android and iOS can expect an app update to be coming over the course of that time to support the new free model.
For those of you who use WhatsApp for your voice and messaging needs, backup up those chats is going to be a lot easier in the coming weeks. Google announced that an update to WhatsApp is going to allow users to back up their content to their Google Drive account, making sure those important chats, messages, videos and images shared on the app are not lost. The update is rolling out over the course of the next few weeks so if you don’t see the option in your WhatsApp settings, it will be there soon.
WhatsApp for Android – Free – Download Now