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Ice Cream Sandwich rides to sunset, as Google raises API levels

Galaxy Nexus was the first phone with Ice Cream Sandwich. Google has confirmed that it ends support for Play Store…

Galaxy Nexus was the first phone with Ice Cream Sandwich.

  • Google has confirmed that it ends support for Play Store Services on Ice Cream Sandwich.
  • The change means that app developers need to target Android 4.1 as the oldest
  • Consumers will not be able to view or download an app targeting Android 4.1 and later.

Ice Cream Sandwich was one of the most important Android updates in the platform’s history, but it is far beyond its best pre-date. Now, Google has confirmed that it ends with Play Services updates for API levels 14 and 15 (equivalent to Ice Cream Sandwich).

The company noted that Ice Cream Sandwich was released seven years ago and now accounts for less than one percent of all active Android devices.

“Consequently, we refrain from supporting ICS in future releases of Google Play services. For devices running ICS, Google Play Store no longer updates Play Services APK in addition to version 14.7.99,” the company wrote on its developer blog.

The change requires developers to target API level 16 (Android 4.1) as the new minimum level for their app. But developers can also build multiple APK devices, with a supportive Ice Cream Sandwich and the other one that supports a newer API level, if they really want to keep the old version of Android.

What does this mean to consumers? Yes, Google confirms that Ice Cream Sandwich users can not see or download an app update that targets the new minimum API level (Android 4.1). But they will still be able to download the latest update targeting the device. However, you should still see the latest updates if the current developer chooses to publish multiple APKs, as described in the previous paragraph.

Ice Cream Sandwich delivered a host of features, including the holo visual theme, virtual navigation buttons on smartphones,

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