GOOGLE HAS put Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out to pasture as it raises the requirements for the Google Play API.
It's good news for developers, as it means that apps now only need be made compatible with Android 4.x Jelly Bean, but for those still clinging on to older devices, it could see your favourite apps slowly stop running.
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.
But now, seven years on, Android has moved on beyond recognition again and Ice Cream Sandwich has started to look like a child's coding project. Admittedly, a ruddy gifted child, but still.
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.
But it does mean that Google has washed its hands of pimped-up choc ice of an operating system, meaning it'll be down to developers to decide if a fork is justified, and identifying it, and any legacy builds in the Play Store.
The decision to close down API Levels 14 and 15 to Google Play has other consequences too - it means that Google Play Services will remain forever encased in amber at version 14.7.99, meaning that any new functionality that depends on it will not work.
It's not like you're going to suddenly have Google's Night Vision AI tech removed from your camera - you never had it in the first place. It just means that your beloved vintage handset is going to slip further and further into irrelevance, is all.
Though there's still always custom ROMs. μ
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