WhatsApp has taken a significant step by discontinuing support for smartphones operating on Android KitKat, a move that comes months after Google itself rendered these older devices obsolete. This decision was recently announced by the Meta-owned messaging platform. WhatsApp will no longer provide updates to users with smartphones running Android 4.4, more commonly known as Android KitKat. This decision reflects the need for users to keep their devices and software up to date in order to ensure a seamless messaging experience.
WhatsApp has updated its minimum requirements, now mandating smartphones to run Android 5.0, also known as Lollipop, or newer versions. It’s important to note that Android KitKat, released in September 2013, has had nearly a decade of support from WhatsApp. However, with this recent development, users with Android 4.4 devices will need to take action if they wish to continue using WhatsApp.
The statistics provided by Google through Mishaal Rahman reveal that, as of May 2023, the percentage of users on Android 4.4 was estimated to be between 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent. This data emphasizes that while a small number of users still rely on Android KitKat, the majority have shifted to more modern operating systems.
With WhatsApp ending support for Android KitKat, users should consider the following options:
- Software Update: If a smartphone manufacturer provides an update to a newer Android version, users should opt for it. This way, they can continue using WhatsApp and access new features and updates.
- Upgrade Your Device: In cases where an update to a newer Android version is unavailable, it might be time to consider switching to a more modern smartphone. This ensures access to the latest features and improvements on WhatsApp.
By dropping support for Android KitKat and setting Android 5.0 as the new baseline, WhatsApp aligns itself with evolving technology and security requirements. Users should be aware that without Android 5.0 or a more recent version, they will no longer receive updates, which means missing out on the latest WhatsApp features. These include enhanced security with features like passkeys, a redesigned navigation bar, and upcoming additions such as the multi-account feature, which enables switching between different numbers.
This transition underscores the importance of keeping devices and software up to date, not just for a seamless messaging experience but also to benefit from the latest developments in the world of mobile technology. Users running Android KitKat are encouraged to explore their options for upgrading their devices to continue using WhatsApp effectively.