Rumor: Google no longer approves Androids with 4.1 or older

As of February 1, Google will not approve new Android devices running version 4.1 or lower. That claims the site Android Police based on information that it would have received from a manufacturer. From this summer, version 4.4 or higher is mandatory.

If Google does not approve a device with Android, it means that a manufacturer is not allowed to put Google services such as the Play Store, Google Now and Google Play Services on it. Also apps like Gmail and Google Maps are not on it. It is the first time that Google has introduced such a deadline for approving devices with older Android versions, Android Police writes. Google has not yet responded to the message, so it cannot be determined with certainty whether it is correct. Android Police has a virtually flawless reputation for rumours.

Google sets the new requirements to combat fragmentation among Android devices. Because the search giant’s approval is important for sales, it forces manufacturers to use a newer Android version. The deadline for Android versions 2.3, 3.x, 4.0 and 4.1 was February 1, after April 24, Google would no longer approve hardware with 4.2. This summer, manufacturers are only allowed to use Android 4.4.

The consequences for consumers would be minimal in the coming months, but because Google will make Android 4.4 mandatory from the end of July, this would become noticeable from then on: manufacturers would then also have to use the latest version of the mobile operating system for cheap devices. Cheaper devices now often run older versions of Android.

Android versionRelease dateApproval stop date
Android 2.3 Gingerbread Dec 6, 2010 February 1, 2014
Android 3.x Honeycomb February 24, 2011 February 1, 2014
Android 4.0 ICS Dec 16, 2011 February 1, 2014
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean July 12, 2012 February 1, 2014
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Nov 13, 2012 April 24, 2014
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean July 25, 2013 July 31, 2014
Android 4.4 Kit Kat October 31, 2013 To be announced
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