Google to End Support for Gingerbread and Older Versions of Android
Published · Aug 14, 2021
Come September 27th, 2021, Google will end support for Android versions 2.3.7 and older. Devices running these versions will no longer be able to sign in to Google services.
The company announced the move in emails to those using the affected devices.
This step by Google is in the interest of tightening up security.
Any Google service that wants to allow sign-ins from those soon-to-be-defunct versions would have to let users switch off two-factor authentication, and enable an “allow less-secure access” setting in their Google accounts.
Such a move increases security risk.
Enter the Cloud
Android is a heavily cloud-based operating system.
In older versions especially, many apps are tied to Google login. While newer versions of Android can receive updates to various parts without the need for full system updates, older versions, such as Gingerbread, aren’t so flexible.
In essence, there’s no way to update these older versions in order to improve security. So they must now be put to bed.
In a blog post detailing the discontinuation of service, Google recommends that phone owners who can update their devices to at least 3.0 should do so.
Otherwise, users may be able to get some limited access to Google services. They can do so by signing in via their device’s web browser. Limited being the keyword, seeing as how ingrained cloud service is to Android devices, and apps.
Cloud tech streamlines rollout and interaction, by taking some of the burdens off of hardware and centralized servers. In turn, users can access cloud apps from multiple points and devices.
Of course, shifting to digital platforms through things like cloud hosting comes with its own set of risks that aren’t present on more traditional hardware setups.
Cloud services are reachable by more parties and from more places. Therefore, they have more “inroads”. This is why it’s important to lock them down. As Google is doing, by phasing out older, less secure devices and software.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.