A small percentage of Android device owners are about to lose a boatload of features.
According to a recent entry on the Android Developers Blog, the latest version of Google Play services, which is required to access the app store among many things, will end support for Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Beginning early 2017, once version 10.2.0 of the client library gets released, only Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich and above will have full functionality.
While it’s understandable that developers would cut off older devices in order to focus on updated platforms, Gingerbread users still form 1.3 percent of the total Android population based on a recent report.
Doesn’t sound like much, but Google will be alienating a significant chunk of Android fans from developing countries, and it isn’t even their fault why they aren’t getting updates past Gingerbread.
Fragmentation has been a problem for Google’s mobile operating system since its conception. By introducing a new version each year, third-party manufacturers and regional network carriers can’t catch up in updating every single one of their products.
Looking at the same report mentioned earlier, there are even fewer 7.0 Nougat users than those with 2.3 Gingerbread — 0.3 percent compared to 1.3 percent. That’s just sad.
If you’re wondering about the fate of 3.0 Honeycomb, well, no one, including Google itself, cares about the forgotten tablet-only Android iteration.
Source: Android Developers Blog