In a shocking move, Google Play Services will drop the support for Gingerbread and Honeycomb in early 2017. Following the update to version 10.2.0 next year, Android devices running on at least Ice Cream Sandwich will be supported by Google Play Service.
For those who don’t know, Google Play Service is an API package to deliver timely updates and service improvements to devices running Android OS. Currently, Google Play Services on version 10.0.0 support all the OS versions starting from Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The next update i.e. 10.2.0 scheduled for early 2017 will stop the support for Gingerbread and Honeycomb and will require your device to run on Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich. In other words, the minimum supported API level will increase from 9 to 14.
“The Gingerbread platform is almost six years old. Many Android developers have already discontinued support for Gingerbread in their apps. This helps them build better apps that make use of the newer capabilities of the Android platform. For us, the situation is the same. By making this change, we will be able to provide a more robust collection of tools for Android developers with greater speed.” – read Google’s blog post.
Further, the search engine giant claims that most of the developers have already dropped the support for Gingerbread and for those who doesn’t the app requires a minimum API level of 14. Basically, apps on devices running on Gingerbread or lower versions will not be updates starting next year.
For the figures, Android distribution for November 2016 reveals about 1.3 percent of devices running on Gingerbread. And for those apps which still have a significant Gingerbread user base, Google has instructed the app creator to build multiple APKs in order to give support.