Google will soon stop letting smartphone users on some of the oldest versions of Android sign into their Google accounts.
This is according to several users on Reddit, who have reported receiving emails from the company that notified them they would have to be running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) or later to continue using Google Mobile Services on their device.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our users safe, Google will no longer allow sign-in on Android devices that run Android 2.3.7 or lower starting September 27, 2021,” the message stated.
“If you sign in to your device after September 27, you may get username or password errors when you try to use Google products and services like Gmail, YouTube, and Maps.”
Below is the message received by affected users.
The impacted versions will be Android 1.0, 1.1, 1.5 (Cupcake), 1.6 (Donut), 2.0 (Eclair), 2.2 (Froyo), and 2.3 (Gingerbread).
The company said that the change was necessary to protect account privacy.
Google added that users would still be able to sign into their accounts on a browser on the smartphone, allowing them to access Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube as they would on a computer.
Android 2.3.7 was released almost 10 years ago, so the change will likely affect a small part of its total users.
Market research firm Statista currently groups all versions of Android before Android 5.0 (Lollipop) as “Other”.
According to its latest data, that segment accounted for only around 1.18% of the total Android user base in the world as of June 2021.
While it’s unclear what portion of these still run Android versions below 3.0, it could still very well be thousands or even millions of users on older handsets that don’t support newer versions, as its total user base is around 3 billion.
Most Android users are currently running versions 10 or 11, while Android 9 is the only other OS that also holds a double-digit market share.