Google to Stop Updating Play Services for Android Jelly Bean

by Duey Guison  July 10, 2021

Android Jelly Bean–or also known as Android 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3–has been in existence since 2012. It was a landmark Android update, as it introduced Project Butter for a smoother UI, along with Google Now (which is now the Google app), expandable notifications, and several audio improvements that comprise of support for external DACs via USB, multi-channel audio, AAC support, and gapless playback.

It has been a good 9 years, and Google is going to pull the plug on Jelly Bean by not updating Play Services. Jelly Bean’s last Play Services update will be version 21.30.99, which is scheduled to release by the end of August.

By dropping Play Services support, Android phones rocking Jelly Bean can no longer install new apps (they will be limited to the last version of the app that supports Jelly Bean), and this also means a lighter load for the development team. Google says that less than 1% of Android users are using Jelly Bean, which prompted Google to drop support for the 9-year-old Android version completely.

Because of this move, Google recommends developers to bump up the minimum API level to API Level 19–which is equivalent to Android 4.4 KitKat.

A very small percentage of all Android devices are using API levels less than 19. We believe that many of these old devices may not be actively being used,” Google said in their post. “If your app still has a significant number of users on older devices, you can use multiple APK support in Google Play to deliver an APK that uses Google Play services 21.30.99.”

In Google’s latest Android version breakdown, Android 10 only accounts for 8% of devices, while Android Pie and Oreo have a bigger share at 30% and 20% respectively.

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