Earlier this month, Google released its monthly Android distribution chart showing Android OS version fragmentation. While the most recent Android versions like Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat enjoy a major share, older versions like Android 2.2 Froyo have now shrunk to a negligible share of below 0.1 percent. The Google Play app is currently only supported by Android 2.2 and newer versions of Android, and to serve older versions, the Android Market app existed. Now, Google has announced the Android Market app for Android 2.1 Eclair and older versions will stop working after June 30.
Google in its Android Developers blog post noted, “It has been 7 years since Android 2.1 Eclair launched. Most app developers are no longer supporting these Android versions in their apps given these devices now account for only a small number of installs.” So, starting July 1, Android Market will be put to rest once and for all on the devices running Android 2.1 Eclair and older versions. Its discontinuation will take place without any notification on the device due to some ‘technical restrictions’ in the Android Market app, says the company.
After June 30, users owning the devices powered by Android 2.1 and older will only have the option to manually install APK files of the apps they want – however it’s not advisable and risky to download app install packages from unauthentic and unknown sources. The devices that run on Android 2.2 and above will continue to run Play Store but Google notes that it will still provide support for later versions of Android Market “for as long as feasible.”
It is noteworthy that most of the popular apps have stopped making iterations of their versions for older Android platforms like 2.1 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo, and 2.3 Gingerbread. However, WhatsApp recently announced that it will continue to provide support for Android 2.3 Gingerbread and older till February 2020.