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Google is dropping Play Services support for Ice Cream Sandwich

09 December 2018

The lowest version of Android that new and existing apps need to target is Jelly Bean and Kitkat. And, today there's another announcement from the company that it will be discontinuing updates to its 7-year-old Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS running devices.

These monthly updates normally fix potential vulnerabilities for devices running Android 9, but this month's update has specific patches for Pixel phones in addition to the normal security updates.

Yesterday, Google announced that it would shut down its Allo messaging service to focus more on Messages.

Although no longer supported, apps that require it can still be forked into a "pre" and "post" entries on the Play Store, and the last supported version will remain available to ICS toteing customers. The developers are receommended to increase the minSdkVersion value in their app's build.gradle to at least 16. "However, they will still be able to download and use the most recently published version of the app that does target their device".

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Tech giant Google in a recent move removed 22 apps from its Play Store. It's unclear how many developers will take the company up on that idea due to the relatively small market share for Android 4.0 devices.

Although it's a tiny minority of users (0.3 per cent according to the most recent figures from Google), it's a significant milestone as ICS represented a "soft relaunch" of the Android operating system that added significant functionality, design language changes and drew a clear line between older builds like Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The largest number of users are now on version of Nougat i.e. API level 25 or 25.

Thus, the owners of electronics based on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of luck, because from now on, to install any software will have already own by installing the APK files without Google Play store.

The latest smartphone out of the box worked for this operating system was Samsung Galaxy Nexus, arrived on store shelves in 2011.

Google is dropping Play Services support for Ice Cream Sandwich