Your old Android Gingerbread phone is going to lose even more functionality

Your old Android Gingerbread phone is going to lose even more functionality

 

When was the last time you thought about your old Gingerbread phone? Google launched Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the public nearly ten years ago, ushering in the days of its Tron-inspired Holo UI, but some legendary Android devices — including the Moto Droid X, HTC Evo 4G, and Samsung’s original Galaxy S — never made the jump. If you’re still holding onto a phone running Gingerbread, it’s about to get a whole lot harder to use with Google services.

Starting September 27, any device running Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread or earlier will no longer be able to sign into a Google account (via 9to5Google). The company specifically highlights Gmail, YouTube, and Maps as apps destined to produce username and password errors following this date. In an email sent to affected users, Google suggests updating your device to Android 3.0 or higher if possible (a strange request, considering Honeycomb was a tablet-exclusive release), but realistically, the writing is on the wall. If you’re still using a Gingerbread phone as your daily driver — or even as a secondary device — it might be time to give up the ghost.

As with most of Google’s OS restrictions, this is driven primarily by safety and security. While Android phones have gained plenty of new features since 2011, they’re also far, far more secure. Monthly security patches have become the norm for a reason, after all. These apps are also far from the first to be disabled on Gingerbread phones. WhatsApp stopped supporting the platform in January of 2020, and it was dropped from Google Play Services entirely way back in 2017.

If, for whatever reason, you need to keep accessing Gmail or YouTube on an affected device, you aren’t entirely out of luck. You can try logging into your account using your phone’s browser. Some web apps will still work with this method, though Google didn’t highlight what will and won’t be supported in its support forums.

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