Given the service-reliant nature, Google support for Android encompasses multiple layers. One such way is controlling Account access, and Google next month is ending sign-in support for very old versions of Android.

In an email to users with active Android 2.3.7 and lower devices, the company recently announced that “signing in to your account on Google apps will no longer be supported.” That covers Android 1.0, 1.1 (unnamed), 1.5 Cupcake, 1.6 Donut, 2.0 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo, and 2.3 Gingerbread. Version 2.3.7 was released in September of 2011.

This will impact system and application-level sign-in, though visiting Google Search, Gmail, Drive, etc. on the mobile web — the Android Browser was not yet Chrome at that point — will continue to work.

Google says this is meant to “help protect your account’s security,” with the following actions resulting in a “username or password error” starting September 27:

  • 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

Android 3.0 Honeycomb or higher will be required to “keep using Google apps on these phones.” Only a very small percentage of users should be affected by this move, and device collectors will likely be the only people impacted. One person that received this email today said they still use their “Xperia play from time to time.”

Those devices stopped seeing new OS updates or patches a long time ago, while Google Play services support was similarly dropped ages ago. For reference, Google will stop updating Play services for Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean from 2012-13 next month. 

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: