We all knew this day would be coming, but it has finally arrived: Google will officially discontinue support for Android versions below API level 14 in Google Play Services. In English, this means that Google Play Service will no longer support Android Gingerbread and Android Honeycomb.
Technically they are discontinuing support for the APIs within Google Play Services, however, if an app will no longer work on your device I’d call that no longer supporting it. Rolling out with Google Play Service 10.2.0 in early 2017, app developers who want to keep support for the now 6-year-old gingerbread, will need to build multiple versions of their APKs to support both new and older devices.
Cutting off support for the older versions of Android isn’t a big deal in our opinion. At 6 years old, any Gingerbread devices that are still functioning (about 1.3% of active devices) may just be due for retirement.
Of course, that’s easy for us to say; we’re not using an older device. One question is will this become a trend? Will we see Ice Cream Sandwich left out to melt in the heat of next summer, or are there particular peculiarities with Gingerbread and Honeycomb that makes it safer to just cut them off?