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WhatsApp will no longer support Android KitKat

WhatsApp will no longer support Android KitKat

WhatsApp will no longer support Android KitKat
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  • WhatsApp prioritizes broad accessibility across operating systems and versions due to its global popularity.
  • WhatsApp has ended support for Android 4.4 KitKat in its latest Android app release.
  • Android 4.4, released in 2013, was popular but saw dwindling usage over the years.
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WhatsApp, the world’s most widely used messaging app, has always aimed for broad accessibility across various operating systems and versions due to its global popularity.

However, not all regions can access the latest Android versions, like Android 14, as some still rely on older versions, such as Android 4.4, also known as KitKat. As predicted in earlier beta versions, WhatsApp has now ended support for KitKat with its latest Android app release.

Android 4.4, originally launched in 2013, was a significant success and is fondly remembered as one of the most popular versions of the operating system. However, its usage has dwindled over the years.

As of May 2023, only 0.5% of users worldwide still had devices running on KitKat with access to the Google Play Store. After Jelly Bean (Android 4.1–4.3) lost Google support in 2021, it was only a matter of time before Android 4.4 followed the same path, with the release of Google Play Services version 23.90.99.

WhatsApp has removed support for Android 4.4 KitKat in its latest version, which is currently the only mobile operating system compatibility change reported by WABetaInfo.

In all likelihood, the number of users who are both still using Android 4.4 and depend on WhatsApp for daily use is quite small. Therefore, if discontinuing support for KitKat helps streamline maintenance and improve the app for current operating systems, it seems like a reasonable decision.

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Dropping support for KitKat is not a new or unusual move for apps. Dropbox discontinued KitKat support over three years ago, and even before that, Android Messages (now Messages by Google) stopped supporting the older version in 2018.

While Android 4.4 holds fond memories, the tech industry evolves rapidly, and sometimes it’s necessary to keep up with the changes.

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WhatsApp has been rolling out numerous updates for its Android app in recent weeks. One notable stable release is the introduction of multi-account switching, allowing users to manage more than one WhatsApp account within a single app installation, reducing the need for multiple copies on their device.

In beta testing, features like voice messages, stickers, and potentially enhanced security through the ability to hide locked chats are being explored. These ongoing updates are enhancing the experience for users of the world’s most popular messaging service.

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