Google has begun to end support for minus Android phones and tablets. So, which Android versions does this new decision affect?
Google Play Services is available on all Google Certified Android devices except Huawei. These services are of great importance for the Google Play Store and APIs available to third-party apps. However, this support has been gradually withdrawn from old Android phones and tablets.
Old Android phones and tablets may not run apps stably
Google Play Services could also be used to add new features to older versions of Android, as with Nearby Share, which was recently added to Android 6.0+ devices. But soon, older Android phones and tablets will no longer receive updates from Google Play Services.
Google announced in a blog post that the company will no longer update Google Play Services to Android Jelly Bean 4.1–4.3 (API levels 16, 17 and 18). Google says the company made this decision because Jelly Bean has less than 1 percent of active Android users. With the final release for devices with Jelly Bean, Google Play Services v21.30.99 expected to be released in late August, this support will be officially discontinued.
Developers are advised to use the Google Play Services SDK in their applications and optimize their applications for Android 4.4 KitKat and higher operating systems. Developers will be able to compile multiple APKs, each containing a separate version of the Play Services library if they need to support Jelly Bean devices. However, it is not yet known who will deal with it.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was released in July 2012 with features like expandable notifications, USB audio and a smoother interface. Android 4.2 was released in November 2012 with improvements to the lock screen and support for multiple user accounts. Android 4.3 was released in July 2013 with Bluetooth LE and a redesigned camera app. It seems quite logical to withdraw support from these operating systems, which are now 8 years old.