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WhatsApp somehow still works on Android Gingerbread, but that will change in 2020

Android Gingerbread will almost be 10 years old by the time WhatsApp cuts active development of its app for the software version.

Published onJune 14, 2018

The WhatsApp logo on an Android smartphone.
  • WhatsApp announced it will no longer support Android Gingerbread starting February 2, 2020.
  • By then, Gingerbread will almost be 10 years old.
  • WhatsApp cut off support for Android Eclair and Froyo back in 2016.

With WhatsApp no longer supporting Android Eclair and Froyo, it was only a matter of time until the same could be said of Android Gingerbread. That time is quickly approaching, though we still have to wait at least another year and a half.

According to WhatsApp’s blog announcement, the app will still work on Android 2.3.7 and older versions of Gingerbread until February 1, 2020. This means that, by the time support ends, Gingerbread will almost turn 10 years old.

A move like this was inevitable. The latest Android distribution numbers show that 0.3 percent of devices still run Gingerbread. That amounts to roughly 3.9 million active devices that run 10-year-old software. Compared to the 1.3 billion Android smartphones sold to date, the number of Gingerbread-running smartphones seems minuscule by comparison.

That is still some serious and rare commitment to an antiquated OS, even when compared to other major applications. You can’t help but tip your caps toward WhatsApp for supporting users up until the very end.

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WhatsApp stock photo from Dec 2021 5

The achievement is even more impressive when you consider that WhatsApp will also halt support for iOS 7 starting February 2, 2020. According to Apple, only five percent of iOS devices run iOS 9 and older. This amounts to 10.7 million devices running older iOS software, with presumably a small slice being iOS 7.

There is more to consider, such as Apple’s quicker abandonment of older software versions relative to Google. Still, WhatsApp should be commended for its dedication to older software versions and knowing that people still use those older versions.

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