Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Truth about claims that WhatsApp has stopped working for “millions”

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Quite a number of articles have caused panic by suggesting that WhatsApp will stop working on “53 smartphones” – but most people seem to be able to continue chatting as before.

The new reports are just the latest in a series of reports that suggest WhatsApp will stop working on older phones when a supposed November 1st deadline hits. The last edition of them was probably published because that deadline is now less than a month away.

But a lot of the devices that are supposedly losing access don’t do so at all. At least some of the phones on this list of 53 devices can still use WhatsApp as before.

While the November 1 deadline is real – WhatsApp has said it will no longer be supported on some older phones as of that date – it doesn’t affect nearly as many phones as has been reported.

Many of the reports point to WhatsApp’s support page, which actually suggests that users must have at least Android 4.0.4 or iOS 10. All previous versions are not supported by WhatsApp and can therefore lose the connection to the service. as claimed.

That restriction was added to the iOS page sometime this March, according to Wayback Machine. WhatsApp has long required devices to be updated to these newer versions of the operating system.

The November 1st date apparently only applies to Android devices. On the support page of WhatsApp there is a notice that older devices will lose their access to the service because “WhatsApp no ‚Äč‚Äčlonger supports Android phones with OS 4.0.4 and older”.

“Please switch to a supported device or save your chat history beforehand,” advises WhatsApp. Instructions on how to do this are provided later in this article.

But it may not be time to panic because the new cause for concern – the list of 53 devices allegedly affected by the change – is not entirely true.

The alleged list of 53 phones is large, although many of them are less mainstream devices. However, it does include phones that were widely available when purchased, such as older iPhones and a number of Samsung Galaxy devices.

The problem is that the list seems wrong. It looks unusual – the iPhone 6s Plus supposedly loses access, but the 6s isn’t listed despite being the same phone in a different size – and that seems to be because it’s not exactly right.

For example, it lists three iPhones that supposedly can no longer access WhatsApp: the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6s Plus, and the iPhone SE. But all of these phones can get iOS 10 – which was supported up to the iPhone 5 – and the iPhone 6s Plus can even download the latest iOS 15 update.

The fastest, most reliable way to tell if you are affected is to see which operating system you are using. To do this, click on the settings and look for the version number; If it is lower than the required update and there is no way to download a new one, you are most likely affected by the change.

If so, it might be time to either buy a new device or save your chats in case you lose them, or both. Switching to a new Android phone from an older one is relatively easy. However, when you do choose to use an iPhone, it can be a little more complicated. In any case, you can find all the details about the changes on the WhatsApp website.

You may also want to export your chat history so that you have it handy in case something happens to your account or WhatsApp due to the deadline or switching to a new phone. Instructions can be found on another page on the WhatsApp website.

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