Are you still holding on to a Nexus One for sentimental reasons? It might be time to move on. Reddit users and 91mobiles have learned that Google will no longer let you sign into the company’s apps on devices running Android 2.3.7 (Gingerbread) or lower from September 27th onward. You can still sign in on the web, but you’ll have to update to at least the tablet-only Android 3.0 (realistically, Android 4.0) if you want to avoid major hassles while checking Gmail or navigating with Google Maps.
The cutoff is necessary to protect account privacy, Google said in an email to customers. We’ve asked Google if can elaborate on its reasoning.
This won’t affect day-to-day phone use for many people, as you might guess. Gingerbread and earlier Android releases have so little usage share that they’ve been lumped into the “other” category for years, and the hardware already struggles to handle many modern tasks. However, it does mark a rare instance of Google cutting off basic functionality for older Android versions, not just OS updates or Play Services features. Think of this as Google setting a baseline — you’ll need a device updated within the last decade to receive at least rudimentary support.