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Google Chrome Will Stop Supporting Android 4.0 From April


An older version of Chrome (and OMG! Chrome!) running on ICS

Chrome for Android is to stop supporting Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ from April and the release of Chrome 42, Google has announced.

Mobile and tablet users using this older version of Android will, as seen on other operating systems that Chrome no longer supports, still be able to use Chrome but the browser won’t be updated to newer versions thereafter.

The Chromium team will offer security updates to Chrome 42 on 4.0 for a short period but these too will stop once Chrome 43 hits the Play Store.

For as long as Chrome is left visible to ICS users browsing Google Play the browser (albeit frozen on v42) will be available to install. It’s unclear for how long Google will do this, however.

Appetite for Progress

As frosty a reception as this news may get in some quarters it isn’t without reason. Google say just 6 percent of Android users are still using Android 4.0 and that this is down 30 percent over the past year.

“The number of ICS devices is now sufficiently small that we can better serve our users by phasing out support for earlier devices and focusing on making Chrome better for the vast majority of users on more modern devices,” the Chromium development team explains in a deprecation FAQ accompanying the news.

‘Google has seen ICS usage drop by thirty percent over the past year’

“Often workarounds and special cases have to be added specifically for ICS, and that adds code complexity, slows performance, and increases development time.”

Google Chrome for Android launched in 2011, the same year as ICS, and has only ever been compatible with devices running version 4.0 or later.

The majority of Android devices — over 80 percent in all — still run a version of Android that is compatible with Chrome (e.g., Jelly Bean, KitKat or Lollipop).

The number of people who will be affected by today’s news is therefore low and could be possibly even lower by next month as Google has seen ICS usage drop by thirty percent over the past year.

Other web browsers, like Mozilla Firefox or Opera Software’s Opera Mobile, may continue to support Android 4.0.

  • moe

    so much of this fragmentation problem would end if manufactures just offer stock Android and allow users to choose the operating system they want.

  • Die, ICS, die!

  • alexmex90

    That’s it! I’m moving to Ubuntu!

  • Amit Rane

    Its really a bad factor. If this keep happening then what the use of buying the andriod phones. Non-Nexus devices are not upgraded to latest one some phones are left to jellybean 4.3. If google announces this then why one should buy the andriod phone if the support and apps are going to be stop. Other ecosystem would be much better than andriod than, its just a crap now

    • Chrome is not the only web-browser available on Android.

    • Many other great browsers like Firefox are available on Android. Just because you are dim-witted doesn’t mean everyone using Android is. There’s no need to panic like the end of the world is near.

      • Amit Rane

        If google is marketing andriod and has the full control on andriod app ecosystem, then why its stopping its own google chrome app from updating to all versions. If this is happening so could all other app will follow the same. And ofcourse its effects too, If you wont raise your voice now google has certainly took people into consideration. Peoples and totally under control by google through its andriod system. If andriod is going to have version every year so it could have back compatibility app support too, otherwise we have to change our smartphone every 3 year that’s not a solution, and that’s what google want

        • A device from 3 years ago would have very old hardware by that time.
          Furthermore, it doesn’t mean that Google Chrome can’t be downloaded, it simply can’t be updated to the latest version.
          If you work in software engineering you’d understand Google’s perspective. Let’s say they release a major and important update to Chrome every month. Would the developers rather make a small update and then spend time working on compatibility issues with all versions of Android, or should they spend less time on compatibility, and work on new and useful features, or improving current ones like UI, or a new way of loading webpages, or fixing security vulnerabilities, or ensuring compatibility with different kinds of websites.

          Would Google rather bring a much better and feature-packed Chrome, or the same Chrome with “minor bug fixes” and no major changes?
          As I said, even after this, you’ll probably still maintain your current point of view. And I don’t blame you. But envision this as a software developer dropping support for Windows XP. It’s a sacrifice they will eventually have to make as newer and newer versions of Windows come out, in order to advance forward more quickly.

  • Krista

    Terrible! My Boyfriend has Android ICS and he loves Chrome! Well, guess i’ve gotta get him a new phone his bday is coming up :-)

    • Winnz

      I recommend getting him the OnePlus One :)

  • Adam Senko

    lol chrome getting the lead of most used browser must’ve been a while ago

  • Pedro Martins Zamboni

    Awww, I have Ice Cream Sandwich =( I suppose I can’t really be mad, I bought my phone a long time ago, and at the time I bought it, it already was one of the oldest phones at the store… Time to get a new phone, I guess!

    • I feel you. I have a Motorola Droid Razr XT910 running 4.0.4 and soon it won’t be having Chrome.
      Well, the damn thing’s 5 years old, should replace it anyway.

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    • nathan

      Take this down, you lier.

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  • F. David

    I use maxthon with adblock in my ics mobile so f.u. google

  • Javier Bastardo

    Opera and Opera Mini FTW haha