Google just announced on their Android Developers blog that they will be ending support for the Android Market app on June 30. This is the store that existed before Google Play and is only found on devices running Android 2.1 Eclair or earlier. While this may prove mildly inconvenient for people clinging to old smartphones, what’s more surprising is the fact that Google was still supporting the old app store.
It’s been 7 years since Eclair was launched, and based on the latest Android distribution numbers, Eclair and older versions don’t event register on the usage stats anymore. Its market share has now shrunk to a negligible share of below 0.1%, with Gingerbread (2.3) nearing a similar fate with a 0.8% figure.
The decision means that devices on Eclair and below will no longer be able to install apps through an official source at all, and will only have the option to manually install APK files of the apps they want. Downloading install packages from unknown sources is not advisable, not to mention Google currently provides security patches for Android versions 4.4 (KitKat) and above.
In its Android Developers blog, Google notes that most app developers are no longer supporting these Android versions in their apps given these devices. The store’s discontinuation will happen without any notification on the device due to 'technical restrictions', according to the company.
For reference, according to the latest data released by Google, Android 7.0 is now present on 8.9% of devices and Android 7.1 on 0.6% devices, totaling 9.5% for Nougat. Marshmallow (2.3) has 31.2% market share, followed by 30.8% for Lollipop (2.1 and 2.2) and KitKat (4.4) has 18.1%.
Image credit: Android Central