Google has ended Play Services support for older version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices. The search giant on its Android Developer Blog has noted that it is ‘deprecating support’ for Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) platform’s future releases of Google Play services.
The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform is seven years old and out of the 2 billion+ monthly active users, the active device count of ICS has been below 1 percent for some time (only 0.03 percent as of October 26). Recent Android Distribution Chart by Google showed that majority Android device users are on Android 7.0 Nougat, while another big chunk is using Android 8.0 Oreo or Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Now with keeping the above the data in mind, Google has decided that devices running ICS will no longer update Play Services APK beyond version 14.7.99.
“The Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) platform is seven years old and the active device count has been below 1 percent for some time. Consequently, we are deprecating support for ICS in future releases of Google Play services. For devices running ICS, the Google Play Store will no longer update Play Services APK beyond version 14.7.99,” noted Android Developers Blog on Thursday.
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It essentially means that app developers will need to push API level 16 as the minimum level of support, above Android 4.0-4.0.4 (API Level 14 & 15). Google has asked developers to increase the minSdkVersion value in their apps. But for the applications that support API levels 14 or 15, developers will encounter build errors when updating to newer SDK versions.