WhatsApp has finally dropped support for smartphones running on an outdated version of Android, months after Google rendered these older handsets obsolete. Earlier this week, the Meta-owned messaging platform discontinued further updates to users with smartphones on Android 4.4, more commonly known as Android KitKat. Based on recent statistics, a small number of users are still running on Android KitKat, and these users will have to update their software or switch to a newer handset in order to continue using the service.
Feature tracker WABetaInfo on Tuesday reported that WhatsApp has increased its minimum requirements to smartphones running on Android 5.0 (also known as Lollipop) or newer. Android KitKat was released in September 2013, which means that users with smartphones running on this operating system have had access to WhatsApp for nearly a decade.
According to recent statistics shared by Google (via Mishaal Rahman), the percentage of users running on Android 4.4 was between 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent in May 2023, when the most up-to-date figures were published.
Now that WhatsApp has dropped support for Android 4.4, users with smartphones running on this outdated version will have to update their smartphones to Android 5.0, if a software update is available from the manufacturer. If an update to a newer Android version is not available, users will have to switch to a more modern smartphone.
Without Android 5.0 — now the lowest version currently supported by WhatsApp — users will no longer receive updates on their smartphone. This means that new features like support for passkeys, a redesigned bottom navigation bar, as well as upcoming features like the multi-account feature (with support for switching between numbers) are likely to remain unavailable to these users, unless they switch to a supported Android smartphone.