WhatsApp to stop working on some devices by the end of 2016 – find out if your model is affected

 

WhatsApp has said that its messaging app will cease to work on older phones and operating systems as early as the end of this year.

The announcement comes after a warning earlier this year that the Facebook-owned company would be pulling support for older models, and that the deadline to upgrade was fast approaching.

The same blog post was then updated to say some phones would be supported until June 30, 2017, while the service would be discontinued on others by the end of this year.

The blog says: “When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people’s use of mobile devices looked very different from today. The Apple App Store was only a few months old. About 70 per cent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia.

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“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.”

Those using certain handsets will have to buy new ones if they want to use the world’s most popular messaging app, which has a billion users globally.

“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,” a spokesperson said. (Video calling was recently added to WhatsApp)

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iPhone users

WhatsApp will stop working on iPhone 3GS at the end of this year.

It will also cease to function any iPhone running iOS 6, so any phone which hasn’t been updated to a later operating system will lose WhatsApp.

The change also affects first, second, third or fourth generation iPads that haven’t been updated.

Android users

WhatsApp will cease to function on any Android tablet or phone running Android 2.1 or 2.2.

This affects any phone released between 2010 and 2011 which hasn’t been updated.

Windows phone users

Anyone still using Windows Phone 7 will not be able to use WhatsApp anymore.

Blackberry and Nokia users

People who have these phones are safe until June 2017: BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60.

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WhatsApp Video Calling is now Official, Here’s how it works!

Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced yesterday that it had begun rolling out video calling to the more than one billion users it claims across iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms around the world.

According to TechCrunch, video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted just like with FaceTime in order to prevent rogue parties from eavesdropping on your communications.

WhatsApp previously rolled out end-to-end encryption for chats. “We obviously try to be in tune with what our users want,” WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum told Reuters. “We’re obsessed with making sure that voice and video work well even on low-end phones.”

You can call a person you’re chatting with, provided each party has updated their copy of WhatsApp to the latest version, by tapping a new Call button in the top-right. A prompt goes up, asking if you’d like to place a voice or video call.

The in-call screen provides the controls to switch between phone cameras, mute and hang up the call. Video calls use iOS 10’s CallKit to integrate with Contacts and Phone’s Recents/Favorites. They also appear on the Lock screen like regular cellular phone calls. You can place video calls to WhatsApp contacts via Siri, too.

The thumbnail video shown during the call can be moved around and you can also flick a video call in progress to the side to minimize it while chatting. WhatsApp video calling is supported in 180 countries. Facebook has allowed WhatsApp to use its servers and bandwidth around the world for both voice and video.

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Other cross-platform apps that support voice calling include Viber, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Google Duo, to name but a few. Of course, Apple’s FaceTime has supported end-to-end encrypted video calling since its inception, but Apple has failed to fulfill its original promise of open-sourcing FaceTime and making it an industry standard.


WhatsApp is also testing a two-factor authentication system in the latest beta, but it’s unclear when this security-enhancing feature might be ready for prime time. With two-factor authentication, a unique one-time code generated by a dedicated authenticator app is required before a new device can sign in to your account on the service.

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Google redesigns Gmail for iOS and updates its Calendar!

 

Google has updated its Gmail and Calendar applications for iOS. These two applications are vital parts of Google’s cloud-based services. The updated Gmail app for iPhone and iPad introduces a redesigned user interface alongside a few features from Gmail on the web that it says were highly requested. The new design is notably similar to the Gmail app available on Android devices.

 

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Among the new features, the updated Gmail app now brings over the “Undo Send” feature from Gmail on the web, which delays sending emails for a set number of seconds to allow users the option to “undo sending” after tapping send. The Undo Send feature on the web can be set to a 5, 10, 20 or 30 second delay, but it appears to be using a set 5 seconds for the mobile app.

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Also new for the refreshed app is  the improved search functionality which includes instant results and spelling suggestions, and Google notes the ability to easily Swipe to archive or delete depending on your preference (which is now a single action rather than a swipe revealing a button). The design of the updated app makes the iPhone and iPad versions fit in with Google’s design for Gmail on Android devices, and overall feels much faster than the previous version.

Google Calendar: New shiny Features

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The Calendar app on iOS has some shiny, new features:

  • Month view and week in landscape view, so you have even more ways to see your schedule at a glance.
  • Spotlight Search support, so you can search for events, Reminders and Goals in Apple’s Spotlight Search and find what you’re looking for faster.
  • Alternate calendars. If you often look up dates in a non-Gregorian calendar — like Lunar, Islamic, or Hindu — you can now add that calendar to easily see those dates alongside your current calendar.

Facebook for iOS update adds new Recommendation system, tickets to movies & more

Facebook recently announced that a new update for its social networking application is now rolling out to iOS devices. Along with the update’s announcement, Facebook also released a detailed changelog that includes all the new features and improvements added to the app.

The latest Facebook update is meant to offer users additional ways to take action faster once they have found something they wish to purchase or a place they want to go.

For example, when you’re ordering food, you will now be able to do that directly from restaurants Facebook Pages. There’s a new “Start Order” tab on any restaurant’s Facebook Page that uses Delivery.com or Slice, so make sure you tap on it to get your food ordered faster.

Also, the update adds a new option that allows users to get tickets to movies and events much easier. They can be bought directly from dedicated Facebook Pages via Fandango. The new feature has been implemented in partnership with Ticketmaster and Eventbrite, and users will now be able to get tickets to other events, free or pair, directly from the event page on Facebook.

Another new feature included in the new update is the option to request an appointment at a local business, such as spas and salons. You will now be able to request a time via the business’ Facebook Page and view the entire range of services and offerings. You will receive your appointment confirmation via Messenger.

There’s also a new “Get Quote” feature, which allows you to request a quote from a business. This only works with some local business Pages thought.

The new version of Facebook for iOS comes with a new Recommendation system. Whenever you write a Facebook post looking for advice on local places or services, you will be able to turn on the Recommendations option for that particular post. Once you turn it on, friends can comment on your post with suggestions, which will then be able to see on the map.

According to Facebook, these new features will be initially rolled out in the United States in the next couple of days. Facebook also states that it will announce new features in the coming months.

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What to expect from Apple at WWDC 2016 on Monday?

Every year, Apple holds an annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco, California, giving thousands of developers from around the world a chance to meet up with Apple engineers and sit in on valuable workshops and software sessions.

Apple typically begins each conference with a kickoff keynote on the first day, where the company makes major announcements and sets the stage for the remainder of the week. Keynote events often include a look at upcoming products and services and a first glimpse at new operating systems.

For the first time, Apple will hold its keynote event and other first-day sessions at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, roughly a mile away from Moscone West. The new location, which Apple also used for its September 2015 “Hey Siri” media event, will offer a larger venue for the conference’s major presentations. Apple plans to start its keynote event at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (8:00 PM Beirut Time).

In 2016, Apple is expected to unveil the latest versions of iOS and OS X, and work on iOS 10 and OS X 10.12 is already well underway. We may also see new versions of watchOS and tvOS, the operating systems that run on the Apple Watch and the Apple TV. News on additional products that might make an appearance will likely be shared as we get closer to the conference date. Most of Apple’s Mac lineup is due for an update and some products could potentially see refreshes at the event.

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Moscone West decorated for the 2015 WWDC eventApple leaked the official dates for the 2016 event through Siri, revealing the conference will take place from Monday, June 13 through Friday, June 17, matching the long presumed dates previously suggested by the convention center’s event calendar.

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Shortly after Siri leaked the news, Apple officially announced the 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference and opened up ticket sales. Media invites for the keynote event went out on June 1.

On June 3, Apple debuted an updated WWDC app for iOS devices and the Apple TV. Attendees can use the app to get directions and times for labs and sessions, while those not attending can use it to watch live streaming sessions with Apple engineers. Apple also plans to live stream the WWDC keynote on iOS and Mac devices through Apple.com and on the Apple TV through a dedicated events app.

Expected Announcements

IOS 10

Apple’s operating system for iPhones and iPads has gone largely without design changes since iOS 7, so it’s reasonable to assume iOS 10 may feature some design tweaks to update the look of the OS. A dark mode is one possibility that’s been circulating based on the look of Apple’s WWDC app and site, but there’s no evidence suggesting such a feature will be implemented.

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Information on iOS 10 is limited, but we’ve heard some tantalizing details about the update. Apple is expected to introduce a Siri SDK, allowing Siri to interact with third-party apps in new ways. Developers will be able to build Siri integration into their apps, allowing Siri to access data and perform tasks within apps. Third-party app access has the potential to greatly expand what Siri is capable of and could put the personal assistant on par with more robust solutions like Google Now.

In 2015, rumors indicated Apple was working on an “iCloud Voicemail” service able to allow Siri to answer missed calls and record and transcribe messages for users to read as text at a later time. The service, which could come in iOS 10, is also said to be capable of relaying location information and delivering details on why a user can’t answer a phone call.

Siri may also be improved with new capabilities Apple has made through acquisitions like VocalIQ. VocalIQ is able to retain the semantic context between conversations and recall user preferences. Apple has made other AI-related purchases over the past year that could have been purchased to improve Siri. Perceptio, for example, is a startup designed to allow for the creation of advanced artificial intelligence systems while limiting the amount of data stored in the cloud, functionality that could allow Apple to bridge the gap between its desire to introduce deeper Siri functionality with its unwavering focus on privacy.

iOS 10 is rumored to include a redesigned Music app featuring a more intuitive user interface for Apple Music. It’s said to use a “bolder, yet simpler” design that emphasizes black and white backgrounds and text to put more focus on album art.

Apple is planning to replace the “New” tab in Apple Music with a “Browse” option that includes better organizational tools for discovering new content, and it will also feature a simplified “For You” section. Connect and Beats 1 will remain unchanged, but Apple may remove the Connect tab from the Apple Music interface.

New 3D Touch shortcut previews will be added, sharing features will be emphasized, and there will be more of a focus on song lyrics, making them easier to access within the app.

With the upcoming iPhone 7 Plus expected to gain a dual-lens camera, Apple is building Photos improvements into iOS 10. Apple is expected to reintroduce some abilities that were initially found in iPhoto before it was discontinued and while we don’t know specifics, iPhoto previously had features like EXIF editing and touch-based brushes for adjusting brightness and other parameters on only specific parts of a photo.

A Skitch-like photo editing feature allowing users to draw on and mark up images could also be in the works, mirroring features that are available in the Mail app for marking up PDFs and photos.

Metadata keys added to App Store apps in April suggests Apple is potentially working on a much-desired feature to allow users to hide or delete unwanted stock apps. If such a feature is in the works, it could be included in iOS 10. App Store changes and improvements are also a possibility, as Apple is said to have a secret team dedicated to exploring potential changes that could be made to the App Store.

OS X 10.12

OS X didn’t get a major update in 2015, but 2016 may more than make up for it. OS X 10.12 is expected to bring Siri to the Mac for the first time, allowing the personal assistant to be used on Mac devices like it’s used on iOS devices.

Siri will be enabled through an icon in the OS X menu bar, the dock, a user-specified keyboard shortcut, or through a hands-free “Hey Siri” command. In May, we shared an image of the full Siri dock icon, featuring a colorful Siri waveform.

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Siri functionality on the Mac is likely to mirror much of the functionality on iOS, with Siri able to conduct searches, open apps, tweak system settings, answer simple queries, play music from iTunes, and more. Siri may also be able to interface with third-party Mac apps through the rumored Siri SDK.

Another key feature of OS X 10.12 may be expanded Continuity features. Apple is working on an auto unlock function that would allow an iPhone to unlock a Mac when in close proximity, alleviating the need to enter a password on a password-protected machine in OS X 10.12.

The feature, which uses Bluetooth LE frameworks, will presumably work similarly to the automatic unlocking feature on the Apple Watch, which allows an unlocked iPhone to bypass the passcode restriction on a connected Apple Watch. In this scenario, an iPhones Touch ID button would be used as a verification method for simpler logins.

The unlocking function could also potentially be tied to the rumor suggesting Apple Pay integration is coming to web browsers. Users could make purchases online using Safari, confirming the Apple Pay payment through an iPhone’s Touch ID when linked to a Mac.

Features rumored for iOS 10, such as Photos improvements and Apple Music tweaks, are also expected to be included in OS X 10.12. An updated version of iTunes that includes a redesigned Apple Music experience with a simpler, more intuitive interface is a possibility, and as for Photos, it could gain some features that were removed during the transition from iPhoto to Photos.

Beyond rumored features, there has been some speculation that Apple could rename OS X to MacOS to better match with iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, but whether or not Apple will actually introduce a change to its long-running Mac naming scheme remains to be seen.

TVOS 2 AND WATCHOS 3

Apple has said new versions of tvOS and watchOS 3 will be introduced at WWDC, but we have not heard any details on what new versions of these operating systems might include.

Drawing from what we expect for iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, the two operating systems could feature Siri improvements and design tweaks to match any design changes coming to iOS 10, but beyond that, we don’t have any insight into what to expect.

We do know that as of June 1, Apple is requiring new Apple Watch apps submitted to the App Store to be native apps, suggesting Apple has plans for deeper native app capabilities. At the very least, a push towards native apps is encouraging because it will result in Apple Watch apps that are able to open more quickly and work more smoothly in watchOS 3.

SERVICES

Apple Pay:
There are no specific Apple Pay rumors linked to WWDC, but Apple has several new Apple Pay features in the works that would be ideal to debut at the event. Apple is planning to bring Apple Pay to web browsers, allowing Apple Pay users to make Apple Pay purchases in online stores directly through Safari.

As with standard transactions, payments would be approved on the iPhone through Touch ID. Using the expanded Continuity features allowing an iPhone to connect to a Mac, Apple Pay payments on Mac notebooks and desktop machines may also be verified through Touch ID.

Apple is also working on a person-to-person update for Apple Pay, allowing users to send money to one another much like Square Cash or Venmo. It is not exactly clear how such a feature would work, but there have been “whispers” suggesting Apple may let customers send money to one another through iMessages.

iCloud:
Following its conflict with the FBI, Apple is likely to introduce new security features in iOS 10 and OS X 10.12. One possibility is encrypted iCloud backups, something Apple has been hesitant to implement in the past because it makes the restoring process more difficult.

Rumors have suggested Apple is working on implementing stronger security measures “even it can’t hack” to protect iOS devices. These improvements are likely to be introduced through a mix of hardware and software improvements, and it’s quite possible we’ll see the first of Apple’s security enhancements in iOS 10.

HARDWARE

Ahead of WWDC there were rumors and speculation suggesting Apple could introduce products like an updated MacBook Pro or a new Thunderbolt Display, but it’s likely neither of these products are going to be ready for a June debut, instead coming later in 2016.

Leading up to WWDC, multiple Apple insiders have said the event will focus on software instead of hardware, and so we are not expecting hardware updates at the event. There’s a possibility Apple could surprise us with an announcement, but if there are plans for a hardware product debut, those plans have been kept under wraps.

 

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