If they haven’t done so already on their own, Android developers can now no longer use Google Play Services for any apps that support Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The company previously said this would happen in early 2017, and now the change notes for Google Play Services 10.2 that went live this week confirm it is the first without support for Gingerbread.
Google Play Services offers developers a set of software libraries so they can add features to their Android apps. For the few remaining people who might still be using a Gingerbread-based phone (the OS was launched in 2010), this new move doesn’t mean your phone will stop working, but any apps that you have installed will likely not be updated anymore. The end of Gingerbread support for Google Play Services is also extended to the company’s Firebase client libraries for Android.
While Gingerbread support may be gone, Google Play Services 10.2 does add a number of new features for Android app developers to use. If they are using the Google Fit tools in their apps, they can now include features to monitor even more health data, including blood pressure, blood glucose, oxygen saturation, body position, body temperature, and reproductive health data. Apps that use the Google Maps tools can now include custom styling for polylines and for the outlines of polygons and circles, too.
Also, the Google Sign-in API can now be used by Android game developers, which should make server-side authentication easier for those apps. There are also quite a few improvements for the Ads tools, including new support for video assets to Native Advanced content ads.
Obviously, most of these changes are for app developers only, but they will likely lead to better Android apps in the long run for consumers, if they are not still rocking a Gingerbread-based phone. Are you still holding onto a device with Gingerbread installed? Probably not, but if so, let us know in the comments.