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Google Play services drops support for Android Ice Cream Sandwich

A little bit greater than seven years after Google first offered Android four.zero to the sector, the web large has introduced that it’s just about pulling toughen for the geriatric cell running device.

Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), as Android four.zero to four.zero.four is extra affectionately recognized, was once a landmark running device in some ways, ushering in an entire new set of interface tips — with a extra minimalist design, to not point out groundbreaking options equivalent to near-field verbal exchange (NFC), lockscreen toughen for digicam and tune controls, and facial popularity smarts for unlocking units.

As of late, then again, ICS is a trifling blip at the Android ecosystem radar, which is why Google Play products and services will now not supply updates for the APIs (14 and 15) utilized by programs operating on ICS.

Google Play products and services, for the uninitiated, is a background carrier and API package deal Google makes use of to serve updates to Android customers with out requiring them to improve their complete OS.

Beef up

App builders who recently be offering minimal toughen of API degree 16 (Android four.1 Jelly Bean) and over gained’t need to do the rest because of those adjustments. Then again, if their apps recently toughen API degree 14 or 15, they are going to come upon a construct error when updating to a more recent SDK model. Google is now recommending that each one builders goal API degree 16 because the naked minimal, because of this the ones nonetheless the usage of Ice Cream Sandwich on their Android software gained’t even see the app replace in Google Play, let by myself have the ability to obtain it.

This doesn’t imply builders won’t be able to focus on units operating Ice Cream Sandwich, then again. It’s imaginable to create a couple of APKs in their apps that toughen other API ranges, that means they are able to have one app that helps Ice Cream Sandwich particularly and one who helps Jelly Bean and over.

In actual phrases, this replace will impact a minuscule percentage of the Android consumer base — however because the pronouncing is going, a small p.c of a top quantity can nonetheless be a large number of other folks. In step with respectable Android figures, Ice Cream Sandwich is operating on simply zero.three p.c of units, however for the reason that smartly over 2 billion units are operating Android, as many as 7 million other folks may well be impacted by means of those adjustments.

That mentioned, any individual nonetheless operating Ice Cream Sandwich is not going to be longing for the most recent apps. “An overly small share of all Android units are the usage of API ranges lower than 16,” famous Google’s technical program supervisor for Google Play, Sam Spencer, in a weblog publish. “We consider that many of those previous units don’t seem to be actively getting used.”

In any case, what does this imply for any individual the usage of variations of Android even older than Ice Cream Sandwich? Neatly, Google Play products and services ditched toughen for Gingerbread and Honeycomb just about two years in the past, so it’s most likely such units are both now not in use or are used purely as phones.

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