Update: January 31, 2020 (11:30 AM ET): The day is almost here. Come Saturday, February 1, 2020 (tomorrow), WhatsApp will no longer work on devices running Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread and older or iPhones running iOS 8 and older.
Unfortunately there’s not much you can do to get WhatsApp working again other than upgrade your phone to something newer. Luckily for you, there are plenty of great cheap Android phones out there, including the wonderful Pixel 3a (our review).
Original article: December 12, 2019 at 10:29 a.m. ET: Facebook-owned WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. Millions of people around the world use it every day. But according to the company’s recently updated FAQ pages, WhatsApp is dropping support for many Android devices.
Specifically, as of February 1, 2020, WhatsApp will no longer support devices running Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread and older. After February 1, users will no longer be able to create new accounts or reverify existing accounts on these older Android versions.
The good news? This won’t affect too many people. According to the Android distribution dashboard, only .3% of all Android users (as of May 2019) are running Gingerbread or older, so it’s very possible this won’t affect your smartphone.
WhatsApp is also dropping support for iOS devices running iOS 8 or older February 1. Windows Phone gets the axe too, but at a much earlier date — December 31. Apparently, many Windows Phone users have not have been able to download WhatsApp from the Microsoft Store since July 2019, so WhatsApp has been preparing for this for some time.
If you are using an Android device running 2.3.7 or older, it’s probably time to upgrade, and not just to continue getting WhatsApp support. Android has become much better and more secure since then, and there are plenty of solid newer devices you should consider.