It’s a surprise that there are devices still running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It’s no wonder Google has issued a warning that the latest Google Play Services 10.0.0 will actually be the last to come with full support for this OS.
It is six years since Android Gingerbread came to life and despite the continuing dominance of Android KitKat, Android Lollipop, and Android Marshmallow, Gingerbread still accounts for about 1.3% of all Android devices out there, much more than what the latest Android Nougat accounts for.
The latest move by the company to end support for Google Play Services means that those using devices powered by this OS will no longer be able to receive app updates. This also means that users will stick with a single version of the installed apps unless they switch to a newer version of the OS.
In early 2017, Google Play Services 10.2.0 will come to life. With this update, there will no longer be support for API level 9 that is supported on Gingerbread, instead, Google is stepping things up to level 14. This means that the only devices to be included in app updates will be those using Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The removal of Android Gingerbread from the list of platforms supported by Google Play Services will ensure that developers have enough time and resources to focus on the newer capabilities found in the latest versions of Android. Since there won’t be app updates for the older OS, those who will still be using the versions will be forced to get APK files of the latest apps in order to enjoy new features, if at all they are supported on their devices.
Others affected by this move are a small group that accounts for 0.1% of the entire Android niche – Android 2.2 Froyo – an OS that was released back in May 2010.