WhatsApp has decided to extend its support for some BlackBerry and Nokia platforms until June 30, 2017 as well as officially launch its video calling feature.
The platforms benefiting from the extension include; BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60.
However, WhatsApp confirmed that Android 2.1, Android 2.2, Windows Phone 7 and iPhone 3GS/iOS 6 platforms will no longer be supported at the beginning of 2017.
In February, Whats-App announced that it will no longer support its application on some older mobile platforms such as BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2, Windows Phone 7, as well as iPhone 3GS/iOS 6 by the end of 2016.
The reason behind WhatsApp’s decision to withdraw from these platforms is because they are old and don’t offer the capabilities WhatsApp needs to expand the app’s features in the future.
Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems now dominate the smartphone market, but there is still a loyal legion of BlackBerry fans out there. Blackberry’s recent devices like the DTEK50 and the Priv run Android, and there are still a fair few people using BlackBerry 10 devices like the Passport and the Classic.
In developing news, WhatsApp has officially launched its video calling for its over 1 billion users worldwide on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Its debut follows a series of reports from people who recently found the feature had been enabled in beta versions of WhatsApp on Android and on Windows Phone.
In keeping with Whats-App’s data security standards, the new video calling feature will be fully encrypted, protecting calls from being listened into, i.e, making it technically impossible for the company or government authorities to read messages or listen to calls.
With the launch of this new video calling, WhatsApp is working hard to catch up with a number of rivals, such as Facebook’s own Messenger app, Skype, Apple’s FaceTime, Viber, LINE and Google’s recently launched Duo, among others. The company says that video calling has remained one of its top feature requests from users.
To use the new feature, WhatsApp users can hit the call button in the top right corner of a conversation, which will bring up an overlaid interstitial asking if you want to voice or video call the friend or family member you’re chatting with. To kick off the video call, you simply select the “video call” option from this screen.
During the call itself, you can switch between the forward-facing and rear camera, mute the call or press the red button to hang up. It seems the user interface varies slightly on Android and iPhone in terms of where the picture-in-picture video feed is displayed, as well as the buttons’ size, lineup and placement.