Google sunsets core services access for Android Gingerbread

Google confirmed that starting Monday, 27th September, Android devices running Android 2.3 will lose access to its core services. These core services from Google that the Android devices will be losing include access to Gmail, YouTube, Maps and the Play Store among others.

Google, on its official blog, says that “To help protect your account’s security, you can’t sign in with your Google Account on an Android device with Android 2.3.7 or lower. If you perform any of the following actions on devices that run Android 2.3.7 or lower, you may get a username or password error.”

Actions that will give users running Android 2.3 login errors

  • Try to sign in to Google products and services like Gmail, YouTube, and Maps
  • Add or create a new Google Account
  • Perform a factory reset and try to sign in
  • Change your Google Account password, which signs you out on all devices, and try to sign in again
  • Remove your account from the device and try to re-add it

Google mentions that you can still get access to your account by updating your device to Android version 3.0 or newer.

In some circumstances where the device can not update to Android version 3.0 or newer, Google recommends signing in to your Google Account on your device’s web browser. To do this;

  1. Open your device’s mobile web browser.
  2. Enter your username and password.

Doing this will give you access to some of the Google services, but understandably not all of them.

Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread, was launched in 2010 and got its final release on September 21, 2011 therefore this September marks a respectable 11 years of service since this version of Android hit the market.

Gingerbread still holds a market share of around 0.3 percent globally. You might wrongly think that this is a minuscule number in the larger picture, but you are wrong. To put this in perspective, there are currently more than 3 billion active Android devices. This means that this move by Google will effectively inconvenience 9 million android devices, a figure that still represents a very large number of users.

Android 9.0 known as Pie as of 2020 according to Statistica was the most popular version of the Android operating system, sitting at a share of 31.3 percent (939 million devices) while Android 6.0, with the moniker Marshmallow, held second place with a market share of 11.2 percent (336 million devices) despite being released back in 2015.

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When all is said and done, this move by Google is, in my opinion, still the right thing to do, as there comes a point where it is not feasible to support every version of Android released in the past ten years.

Some users will rightly feel disgruntled, especially those that are unable to get an upgrade immediately, but getting access to a few Google services through the web browser will offer some sort of solace.

A few noteworthy mobile handsets that have been affected include the original Samsung Galaxy S and the Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S arrived running Android 2.1 (Eclair) and was upgraded to Gingerbread.