WhatsApp has officially dropped support for smartphones running an out-of-date version of Android, months after Google declared these devices obsolete. Earlier this week, the Meta-owned messaging network stopped providing new updates to users with handsets running Android 4.4, also known as Android KitKat.
According to recent statistics, a small number of customers are still using Android KitKat, and these users will need to update their software or upgrade to a newer handset to continue using the service.
According to feature tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has upgraded its minimum requirements to smartphones running Android 5.0 (commonly known as Lollipop) or newer. Since Android KitKat was released in September 2013, users of devices running on this operating system have had access to WhatsApp for nearly a decade.
According to recent Google statistics (via Mishaal Rahman), the percentage of Android 4.4 users was between 0.5 and 0.7 percent in May 2023, when the most recent figures were published.
Since WhatsApp no longer supports Android 4.4, users with devices running on this outdated version will need to update to Android 5.0, if a software update is available from the manufacturer. Users will have to switch to a more recent smartphone if an update to a newer Android version is not available.
Users will no longer receive updates on their smartphones unless they have Android 5.0, which is now the lowest version supported by WhatsApp.
This means that new features such as passkey support, a redesigned bottom navigation bar, and upcoming features such as the multi-account functionality (with support for switching between numbers) will likely remain unavailable to these customers unless they upgrade to a supported Android smartphone.