Google has already announced that it is terminating Play Services support for both Gingerbread and Honeycomb soon. The Mountain View giant confirmed that the release of version 10.2.0 of Google Play in early 2017 will mark the end of support for both operating systems.
On the Android Developers Blog, developer advocate Doug Stevenson said that version 10.0.0 of Google Play will be the last one to support Android API level 9 or Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Explaining why this is so, Stevenson said that the Gingerbread platform is already dated for being in existence for nearly six years now. Furthermore, because it is quite old in terms of technology age, many Android developers have since discontinued support for it in their apps.
The latest figures indicate that Android Gingerbread only runs 1.3 percent of devices as of late. Equally affected by Google’s decision is Android Honeycomb, which as per GSM Arena is only running on very few devices given that its a platform that was made to be more of a tablet-focused version.
Discontinuing support for the dated platforms is expected to help Android developers focus more on building better apps that would make use of the newer capabilities of the latest Android operating systems, according to Stevenson. In addition, the change is timely since Google is planning to provide more robust tools for developers.
For owners of smartphones that are running on Gingerbread and Honeycomb, they may still continue to use the handsets moving forward. However, apps built with the SDK for version 10.2 will not be compatible with the devices. Thus, they have to make do with what’s only compatible and functional on their handsets.
As per Android Police, stopping support of the Play Services package for a platform already signals the death of that platform. Now that it’s clear that Gingerbread and Honeycomb are going to meet their demise soon, it would only be a matter of time until Google also axes support for Ice Cream Sandwich. The platform was released the same year as Gingerbread, and it also runs 1.3 percent of Android devices at present.