Google has announced that it is discontinuing support for Gingerbread and Honeycomb in the Google Play services.
The version number 10.0.0 of Google Play services client libraries, as well as Firebase client libraries for Android, will be the last that supports Android API level 9 (Android 2.3 Gingerbread)
The next version of the aforementioned libraries is scheduled to release in 2017. This will increase the minimum supported API level from 9 to 14 (Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich).
According to November 2016’s Android distribution numbers, 1.3% of Android devices are still running on Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich.
After upgrading to version 10.2.0 or above, developers will have to either target API level 14 as the minimum supported version or build multiple APKs to support devices with an API level less than 14.
Talking about the development, developer advocate Doug Stevenson said in a post, “The Gingerbread platform is almost six years old. Many Android developers have already discontinued support for Gingerbread in their apps. This helps them build better apps that make use of the newer capabilities of the Android platform. For us, the situation is the same. By making this change, we will be able to provide a more robust collection of tools for Android developers with greater speed.”
Recently, a report surfaced online suggesting that Google’s set to bring tap-to-pay feature to its Android Wear smartwatches. According to a report on Android Police website, Google appears to have made progress towards enabling Android Pay to work through Android Wear.
The website claims that it discovered the feature during a tear down of the latest Google Play Services APK. The Android Police report further claims that the support will be rolled out next year with Android Wear 2.0 platform.
The feature will enable users of Android Wear smartwatches with NFC functionality to pay at various terminals. Along with this, Android Wear will also get an Instant Apps feature.
This will enable users to find content from built-in apps including contacts, emails, text messages and photos, as well as user-installed apps.