Google Play Services ending support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

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Remember Android Ice Cream Sandwich? This update was launched in 2011 and brought with it the Holo UI design and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Fast-forward seven years, and Google is making a big change regarding ICS and Google Play Services.

Google announced this week that it’s discontinuing Google Play Services updates for API levels 14 and 15, which cover Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 through 4.0.4. This means that for devices running ICS, the Google Play Store will no longer update the Play Services APK past version 14.7.99.

This news also means that developers should have their applications target API level 16 (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean) or higher. Apps that support API levels 14 or 15 will encounter build errors when updating to newer SDK versions. Devs can continue to offer apps that target ICS by building multiple APKs for their app that support different minimum API levels, meaning they can have one version of an app for ICS and another version for Jelly Bean and later.

For consumers, this means that if your device is running ICS, you won’t be able to see or download apps that have a minimum of API level 16 support. This is where a developer could offer two different versions of their app, one for ICS and earlier and one for Jelly Bean and later.

Ice Cream Sandwich is in use by 0.3 percent of Android users, so it’s no surprise to hear that Google is deprecating support for that version in Google Play Services. Still, that 0.3 percent is kind of a lot of people when you consider that there are more than 2 billion monthly active Android devices out there in the world. 

Did you ever use Android Ice Cream Sandwich?

This article was originally posted on PhoneDog