Skip to main content

Gingerbread is officially dead as it loses Google Play Services support

Android Gingerbread and Android Honeycomb are over six years old — in fact, Android Honeycomb turns 7 next week — and they are finally losing support from the Google Play Services framework. Google Developers announced back in November that 10.0 would be the last SDK version to support to support them, and with this week's Google Play Services 10.2, they have officially been left behind.

What does this mean?

Well, the apps that Gingerbread users already have will still be there for them, but once developers start using the newest SDK and targeting Ice Cream Sandwich as the minimum API level, developers have to start building multiple APKs for their app in order to support the older devices or drop support for these really, really old versions of Android that is only being used by about 1% of the Android market.

Don't expect to see the app compatibility for Gingerbread drop off a cliff overnight, but as more and more developers migrate to the 10.2 SDK and beyond, you will start to see things dry up over the coming months. And considering that Gingerbread is old enough to be in grade school, it's time to upgrade to something a little newer.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

30 Comments
  • You don't have a clue what Net Neutrality is, do you?
    Look, I'll break it down. Net Neutrality means that a kb of data browsing android central must be treated the same as a kb of data streaming a cat video, downloading a file, shopping on amazon, or watching Netflix. That's it. Period.
    Without it, cable companies (who own the vast majorities of ISPs nowadays) could easily make Netflix, Hulu, etc - completely unusable unless youre wiling to pay a substantial fee. One so significant that it becomes cheaper to move to their streaming service. This is a way to attack 'cord cutters'. Cord cutters are costing cable companies tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue. Simply put - whos in favor of net neutrality ? Consumer groups, the EFF, small companies.
    Who's against? Large Corps. ISP. Mainstream providers who can crush the independents. The last time we let the media companies regulate themselves, they chopped the nation up into itty bitty pieces, and limited our choices to one provider in most cases. They created pseudo-monopolies but avoided anti-trust because they claimed that there was competition in the market place. There was- if you were willing to move to a different part of town. Those of us old enough to remember this ruse remember the promise of lower prices and more choices due to deregulation. How'd that work out? http://www.commoncause.org/research-reports/National_050905_Fallout_From... Independents will simply get crushed by global media who can simply cut their bandwidth to nothing and throttle their sites to the point where they're unusable. http://www.tomsguide.com/us/net-neutrality-faq,news-18687.html You're using the internet to argue that shareholders who care about nothing but profits should be able to financially leverage your browsing habits. This is like watching sheep fight for front of line privileges for the slaughterhouse.
  • Sums it up
  • Wait I think you're on the wrong thread my friend.
  • Lmao!
  • I still have a Froyo tablet, and the Play Store still works on it. Weird.
  • It'll still work, but you won't ever get app updates that use the new API.
  • That's true of every release. If an app is using Nougat specific APIs, and you have Marshmallow, the app is now incompatible. There are still a lot of apps that are compatible back to Froyo (at least those I use).
  • You are talking OS-features specific. An app can be compatible for any range of Android versions, even if it has features that are only of the latest Android version. It's just that such features won't be available in earlier ones. The one that's talked about on the article is for all kinds of Play-services features, including bugs fixes of previous versions of the library.
    It's not that it's now impossible to develop for Gingerbread. Just not using the latest version of the play-services sdk for it.
  • Gingerbread still probably out numbers Nougat on Samsung Devices.
  • Finally. I've been developing with min API 15 for a while now and considering change to 19. KitKat or higher or gtfo
  • What version # is Gingerbread? Or what was the last Samsung phone to still have it?
  • 2.3 I think. I'm pretty sure my Galaxy S2 HD LTE shipped with it.
  • It was on prepaid phones back in 2012, flagship phones like the S3 had ice cream sandwich at the time. Even after jelly bean was out, some prepaid were being sold with gingerbread installed.
  • How can I get 10.2 on my marshmallow device??
  • Upgrade it to Nougat.
  • its just an app update man. it will show in the play store like all other updates
  • About time, I guess.
  • You guys need to step it up! You're always behind. I read about this yesterday morning and with better details: http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/02/16/google-posts-list-of-changes-for...
  • And yet you still took the time to read the article and post about it.
  • Yup to provide contructive criticism to a site I frequent and still value. Is there something wrong with that?
  • Wish they would phase more older version numbers faster.
  • Peace!
  • The good ol days... Goodbye 🙄
  • Why doesn't LG and Samsung get the lead out and update some of their phones to Nougat faster
  • Quality control.
  • FINALLY its dead
  • Hopefully this means apps will start using updated UI elements. I have a few apps that still use Gingerbread style popups when tapping on notifications and SIM Tool Kit still has a Gingerbread style UI.
  • I guess it's time to retire my Samsung Galaxy Pocket. :)
  • Goodbye Gingerbread you are really when I entered the root world.. Damn it Father Time slow down a bit....
  • Time to put the ZTE Score M and it's 3.5" screen out to pasture I guess!!!