Some smartphones go off on WhatsApp, Nov.1; Users speak

By: Rachel Kakraba.

Unlike the days of yore, today’s world revolves around social media applications, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  Relatively, the most patronized application is WhatsApp which manufacturers say will from today November one, not work on some type of mobile devices. This the service provider says has become necessary because operating systems of such devices have become obsolete. For that matter certain systems will no longer be supported by the application and future updates will no longer be available to them. Users of such smartphone models will be unable to use the instant messaging app WhatsApp. In an interview with GBC News, a Mobile Application Developer and Data Protection Officer Emmanuel Gadasu, clarified Android devices that run on Android 4.0.4 and older versions will stop supporting the messaging application. In the case of Apple mobile phones Mr. Gadasu, said IOS below nine risks being affected.

“The latest Android version that we have is 12, so per the announcement by WhatsApp those that will be affected are those below Android 4. However, if the hardware can support an upgrade to the latest, that is Android five onwards then WhatsApp will run on that particular system. Fast forward, we have IOS 15 so WhatsApp is saying that it cannot support any device below nine, so from nine downwards   WhatsApp will not work on those ones as well”.

Some members of the public shared their thoughts on this development.

Paapa told GBC News that he was unaware of the directive “I’ve never read any article or heard certain phones will be excluded from the WhatsApp services on Monday”.

Kwame is an Uber driver he said “I have not heard about it, but since I’m an Uber driver and the application will be working on my phone I’m not scared. I can do WhatsApp on my laptop”.

Sosu Dogbe an artisan also said “I heard unless you’re using a heavy phone you can’t access WhatsApp. But now there is no money to buy a heavy phone and I’m not happy at all”.

A student named Gloria indicated, “I’m just hearing it and I’m even surprised, no wonder my phone has been fooling these days”.

At Tip-Toe Lane at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in the capital Accra, which is a hub in the sale and repair of mobile phones, it was business as usual. Some phone dealers were not aware of the development while others were in the know. One of such is Freddie’s Corner, Sales Manager Ebenezer Kumi, said they have in the last couple of days been sensitizing clients to the issue for them to make informed choices.

“We have the latest Android smartphone with the latest operating system. But we also educate customers that this is the situation”.

Mr. Kumi is, however, unhappy about apprehension among the public which he said had affected business.

“Some people have the perception that it’s all phones, which is very bad, so for the past couple of weeks due to that it has affected the market”.

Manuel Ekuban had travelled from Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region to Accra for various undertakings. One of his assignments in Accra is to acquire a new mobile phone to replace his faulty one. Oblivious of this development, he called for more sensitization on the matter.

“Now that you have made me aware then I will factor it, but how will I know that this phone will not support WhatsApp or not. The education is low because this is the first time I am hearing. It will still be in the system so whoever is in charge will have to help us”.

Social media and especially WhatsApp is today a part of everyday life.

On Monday October, 4, 2021, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all suffered outages, if you felt the six-hour outage was unpleasant then brace yourself for the worse should you be found in this category.

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