Starting early 2017 Android users of all versions less than 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will no longer be able to receive an updated version of their apps supported by the mainstream Android development suite (Firebase). This includes versions 2.2 (Froyo), 2.3.3+ (Gingerbread) and 3.0+ (Honeycomb).
According to Google, the reason for the drop is thus:
“The Gingerbread platform is almost six years old. Many Android developers have already discontinued support for Gingerbread in their apps.
… By making this change, we will be able to provide a more robust collection of tools for Android developers with greater speed.”
So Google decided to move on, what does it mean for current users of older Android versions?
I Use Android Version Less Than 4.0.1, What Do I Do?
Well first of all, if you’re using one of the older Android versions at the moment then apparently, having your mobile device up to date is not one of you’re first priorities – and that’s OK.
Actually, it’s fine by Android as well, as long as you won’t try upgrading your apps to a newer version, one that typically supports higher Android version, you can continue using the same apps as you do today.
However that being said, you may face all sorts of problems legacy-code based apps are usually facing, such as incompatibilities of all sorts and so on. Furthermore, from a security stand point, a device that doesn’t get regularly updated may be prone to vulnerabilities which been remedied at a later point.
Therefore although you don’t have to, it’s probably a good time to consider upgrading your Android system or the device you’re using at the moment.