This is a sad news for Whatsapp users using the app on old devices! WhatsApp recently announced that it will end support for for its app for BlackBerry devices including BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, smartphones with Android 2.1, Android 2.2, iOS6 Windows Phone 7.1 by December 31, 2016.
The announcement was made soon after WhatsApp recently crossed over 1 billion users worldwide, with India and USA leading the list. “As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use,” Whatsapp CEO Brian Acton said.
“WhatsApp is shutting down its support for these mobile devices as they no longer offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future”, said fellow CEO and co-founder Jan Koum.
WhatsApp said that 70 per cent of the devices in 2009 had either a BlackBerry or Nokia OS based phones. “But the scenario has completely changed now. Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft, which account for 99.5 percent of sales today were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time,” Acton added.
So, for those people who are affected by this announcement and want to continue their chat services with friends, relatives, colleagues and family, the company recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016 deadline to continue using WhatsApp uninterrupted.
Some alternatives for WhatsApp:-
Don’t get dejected if you are the affected lot of people, who cannot use the popular messaging app after 31st December. In today’s digital world, there are a huge number of messaging apps, that are also good alternatives to WhatsApp. Let us list a few messaging applications, that functions perfectly and almost like WhatsApp:-
a. Viber is very similar to WhatsApp as it uses mobile contact numbers to identify users. You get an access code sent to your mobile number via text message. It will then access your address book to see if any of your contacts are connected to Viber; you can then instantly connect with them. Also like WhatsApp, Viber allows you to call users, provided your smartphone is connected to the Internet.
b. LINE is another app, which is popular, particularly in China, Japan and Taiwan. It registers your phone number into its database where you can then connect with your phone contacts who are LINE users. An advantage of LINE is that it allows you to reply to messages by installing a PC or MacOS program, provided you register your number with an email account.
Besides text messaging, you can call other LINE contacts through the app with an Internet connection. The app offers features like timeline, coupons, video snapping and support for file sharing of up to 1GB.
c. The Facebook Messenger is an another must app for your phone. It is available for most mobile platforms, other than iOS and Android. Since you are connected to most of the friends you want to communicate with, Facebook Messenger can be a great WhatsApp replacement. You can do a video call to your friend, who is sitting far away from you, in some other country or region. The only drawback is that you cannot use it to communicate with friends who are not on Facebook.
d. WeChat platform has its more than 600 million users across the globe, with most users being concentrated in China and Japan. The number of users is more than even WhatsApp’s 450 million user base. User registration with WeChat is easy and similar to that of WhatsApp or Viber using a phone contact number through a verification code.
With WeChat, you can connect to your email and Facebook account, allowing people to find you easily. In addition to messaging, image sharing and video chat are available with WeChat. LINE offers stickers, which can be termed as blown-up emojis, so you can express your emotion in bigger way. If your emotions are more complex you can shop for the right sticker at the sticker shop.
e. BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, is a popular instant messaging and videotelephony app, initially for Blackberry users. It has now been extended to other platforms like Nokia, Android and iOS, that allows messaging and voice calls between BlackBerry, Nokia, iOS, and Android users. Messages sent via BlackBerry Messenger are sent over the Internet and use the BlackBerry PIN system.
Exchanging messages is possible to a single person or via dedicated discussion or chat groups, which allow multiple BlackBerry devices to communicate in a single session. In addition to offering text-based instant messages, BBM also allows users to send pictures, audio recordings, files up to 16 MB, share real time location on a map, stickers and a wide selection of emoticons. BlackBerry Messenger is widely reputed for its uptime and reliability.