Sad news for those still using Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb. Google Play Services, which includes Play Store, Play Music, and many others will stop supporting those devices by early 2017.
With version 10.2.0 up for next year release, the framework will stop the support to those devices with its launch. What is still interesting is, ICS will still be the minimum requirement for support.
What Google Play Services actually is?
It is an API service launched by Google to deliver updates to improvise services like apps without upgrading the entire Android. Basically, it used to provide apps update, which in turn requires a Google account for it.
Introduced back in 2012, it supported all the OS version including Gingerbread.
10.0.0 is the last version to support Gingerbread and Honeycomb. After the launch of version 10.2.0, the framework will stop supporting those devices. From the launch of the newer version, API level will increase from 9 to 14 as the minimum requirement to develop apps.
On its official developer blog post, Google cited, “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.”
According to Google, most of the developers have already stopped supporting these both OSes. Apps working below the minimum API level will not receive any updates further.
For those apps running on Gingerbread , apps developers can develop multiple packages to support those devices. According to surveys, Gingerbread runs on 1.3% of smartphones, way higher than Android Nougat.