Google Stops Updating Chrome For Android 4.0

Google Stops Updating Chrome For Android 4.0

Google today announced that Chrome 42 will be the last version of its mobile browser to run on devices that still use Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), which launched in 2011.

Chrome will still continue to run on these devices, but Google will freeze development and Android 4.0 users will not receive any updates beyond Chrome 42, which for release in mid-April 2015. Version 42 will still receive security updates for a little while, but once Chrome 43 is available in May, those will end, too.Chrome will still continue to run on these devices, but Google will freeze development and Android 4.0 users will not receive any updates beyond Chrome 42, which is scheduled for release in mid-April 2015. Version 42 will still receive security updates for a little while, but once Chrome 43 is available in May, those will end, too.

As Google notes, it has seen a thirty percent drop in the number of Chrome users on ICS. While it took a while for users to switch to ICS, Google’s latest numbers show that only about 5.9 percent of all Android users are still using this older version of Android. More than 80 percent now use Android 4.1 or 4.4 (and 3.3 percent are on 5.0 Lollipop). Old devices that still run Gingerbread (Android 2.3) still account for 6.9 percent, but Chrome never ran on those anyway, so they won’t be affected by today’s announcement.

To make Chrome run on ICS, Google’s developers had to create workarounds to make new web features work on this older operating system. This, the company argues, “adds code complexity, slows performance, and increases development time."

“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," Google writes.

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