On its Android Developers Blog, Google has announced that the company is discontinuing the support for Gingerbread and Honeycomb in Google Play services. Google will bid adieu to two of its oldest remaining Android versions in an upcoming update to Google Play Services.
“The Gingerbread platform is almost six years old. Many Android developers have already discontinued support for Gingerbread in their apps. This helps them build better apps that make use of the newer capabilities of the Android platform. For us, the situation is the same. By making this change, we will be able to provide a more robust collection of tools for Android developers with greater speed,” said Google.
Gingerbread was one of the popular and perhaps a robust version of Android. Even after the launch of Android Jelly Bean (4.1 to 4.3), there were still devices coming out with Gingerbread. In the case of Honeycomb Android 3.0, the version was a short-lived one. The Honeycomb Android version was launched in 2011 February, but the next version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich surfaced within months by October of the same year.
Google estimated Gingerbread to occupy 1.3% of the Android distribution chart. On the other hand, Honeycomb occupies less than 0.1% of the devices.
Note for the Developers:
However, developers can continue to use version 10.0.0 of Google Play services and Firebase with Gingerbread and Honeycomb devices. Once they upgrade to version 10.2.0 or above, however, developers will have to either target API level 14 as the minimum supported version or build multiple APKs to support devices with an API level less than 14.