We’ve known about this for a while, but the day is finally upon us. Today WhatsApp will stop working on a swathe of Android and iPhone models, meaning those using affected devices will be forced to upgrade if they want to continue messaging friends and family on the Facebook-owned platform. From today, February 1, 2020, WhatsApp will no longer be supported on iPhones running iOS 7 or Android smartphones running any version prior to 2.3.7 Gingerbread.

Although both of those operating systems are years old – iOS 7 released back in 2014 and Android Gingerbread launched in 2010 – you might be surprised to hear that millions of devices are still running them.

In fact, the most recent figures from Google’s distribution dashboard claim 0.3 percent of Android devices are still running Gingerbread. While that’s a small percentage, when you calculate that as a figure from the over 2.5 billion Android devices on the planet, you reach a tally of 7.5 million. So yes, that’s a lot of Android phones still running the 2010 operating system.

There appear to be far less Apple users running iOS 7 though. The American tech giant doesn’t give percentages of users for each individual operating system version like Google, but it does state at the moment 7 percent of all iOS devices are running an older version than iOS 12.

Unofficial estimates claim around 0.1 percent of some older iPhone models, like the 5S, continue to run iOS 7. Of course, these figures cannot be confirmed.

WhatsApp announced the decision to ditch its service on the older Android and iPhone operating systems back in May of last year.

Back then, it said: “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. While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.

“This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp.

If you need to upgrade your device to continue using WhatsApp but don’t want to break the bank, here are some of the best Android and iPhone deals around right now.

• Apple iPhone 8 | Tesco Mobile | 1GB data | 5,000 minutes and 5,000 texts | no upfront cost | 24-months | £29.99 per month

• Apple iPhone XR | O2 | 12GB data | unlimited minutes and texts | £175 upfront | 24-months | £28 per month

• Samsung Galaxy S10e | O2 | 12GB data | unlimited minutes and texts | £85 upfront | 24-months | £24 per month

• Oppo Reno 2 | EE | 4GB data | unlimited minutes and texts | £50 upfront | 24-months | £34 per month

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