Come 2018, older BlackBerry and Windows phones will not be able to use WhatsApp as the company has decided to cease support for some older mobile operating systems. The instant messaging application will not be supported on phones running BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8.0 after December 31, 2018.
As of now, users still running these operating systems cannot open new WhatsApp accounts or re-verify old accounts. WhatsApp will still work on these phones, but only till December 31, 2018. WhatsApp has plans to withdraw support for Symbian S40 after December 31, 2018, and for Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread after February 1, 2020.
"These platforms don't offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer OS version," WhatsApp said in a statement.
Because we will no longer actively develop for these platforms, some features may stop functioning at any time, the statement added. The move is expected to help WhatsApp focus on recent versions of popular smartphone operating systems - iOS and Android. WhatsApp recently rolled out several new features, like delete messages, picture-in-picture feature, etc. for both platforms.
Withdrawing support for older BlackBerry phones is not likely to affect a great deal of WhatsApp users. BlackBerry OS has been around for over two decades now, running on devices like BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Curve, and was succeeded by BlackBerry 10 in 2013. Both OS failed to compete against Android and iOS, and have been traded for better options.
There still are quite a few Windows Phone 8.0 users, though, refusing to give up the sturdy Nokia hardware and Windows OS. The decision to withdraw support for this platform might cause a stir owing to the number of users still using Windows Phone 8.0.
Legal notice to WhatsApp over middle-finger emoji
Meanwhile, the middle-finger emoji on WhatsApp seems to have offended someone to the extent that a legal notice has been served to the instant messaging application, demanding removal of the said emoji. The notice from a Delhi-based lawyer demands that the middle-finger emoji should be removed within 15 days, or he will file criminal or civil cases against the company.
The petitioner Gurmeet Singh backed his demand with argument that the middle-finger emoji is an 'obscene and lewd' gesture. In the notice, he quoted Sections 354 and 509 of Indian Penal Code, which classifies showing obscene, lewd, offensive gestures to females as an offence.
"By offering to use middle finger emoji in your app, you (WhatsApp) are directly abetting the use of offensive, lewd, obscene gesture," Singh stated in the legal notice to WhatsApp.