Due to the dependent nature of the service, Google’s support for Android encompasses several layers. One way is to control account access, and Google will end sign-in support for very old versions of Android next month.
In an email to users with active Android 2.3.7 and lower devices, the company recently announced that “signing in to your Google apps account will no longer be supported.” This covers Android 1.0, 1.1 (unnamed), 1.5 Cupcake, 1.6 Donut, 2.0 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo, and 2.3 Gingerbread. Version 2.3.7 was released in September 2011.
This will impact the connection at the system and app level, although visiting Google Search, Gmail, Drive, etc. on the mobile web – the Android browser was not yet Chrome at this point – will continue to work.
Google says this is intended to “help protect the security of your account” with the following actions resulting in a “username or password error” starting September 27:
- Try to sign in to Google products and services such as Gmail, YouTube, and Maps
- Add or create a new Google account
- Perform a factory reset and try to sign in
- Change the password for your Google account, which logs you out on all devices, and try to log in again
- Remove your account from the device and try to add it again
Android 3.0 Honeycomb or higher will be required to “continue to use Google apps on these phones”. Only a very small percentage of users are expected to be affected by this move, and device collectors will likely be the only people affected. One person who received this email today stated that they still use their “Xperia play from time to time”.
These devices stopped seeing new OS updates or fixes a long time ago, while support for Google Play services was also discontinued a long time ago. For reference, Google will stop updating Play Services to Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean from 2012-13 next month.
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