Android Version Distribution as of April 2014Starting in daily build 2014.2264, we are changing the minimum supported version on Android from 2.2 to 2.3.3. This means that if you do a device build with 2014.2264 (or later), your app will not run on a device whose version is below Android 2.3.3.

We are doing this for several reasons:

First, larger forces are at work. In particular, Google Play Services (not to be confused with Google Play Game Services) only works on 2.3. This is important because later this year, Google will make this service a prerequisite for displaying AdMob ads. Similarly, the Amazon Game Circle service requires upgrading the minimum version to 2.3.3.

Second, the numbers no longer make sense for us. The percentage of Android 2.2 devices has shrunken dramatically and is now barely above 1%.

Finally, Android is fragmented enough already. There’s a limit to how much hacking we can do to compensate for deficiencies of earlier versions of Android. Frankly, we’d rather spend our energy elsewhere.

If you must release on Android 2.2, we recommend you use an older daily build (prior to 2014.2264) or the last public release. All future daily builds and future releases will require Android 2.3.3 or higher.

  1. No problem.
    I’ve started building for 4.0+ since Andriod 4.0 is the first version that requires a GPU that has hardware acceleration. Since many features of Graphics 2 uses the GPU extensively, it made sense to me for performance reasons.
    OK, I’m losing about 20% of all devices by doing so, but the way I see it, those devices are most likely problem devices anyway…

  2. “Finally, Android is fragmented enough already. There’s a limit to how much hacking we can do to compensate for deficiencies of earlier versions of Android. Frankly, we’d rather spend our energy elsewhere.”

    Good call! 1% is absolutely not worth the effort. Moving on…

  3. Great news!
    Huge step forward fixing that audio lag problem on Android!

    Looking forward to the moment when my games will be as responsive on Android as on iOS!
    Thank you!

    • The NookColor is an Android 2.2 device. So, yes, you’ll lose support for that device on the B&N store. This particular device was the main reason why we’ve held on to Android 2.2 support for so long. It’s a shame to drop support for this device, but we also don’t want it to hold us back from implementing Google’s and Amazon’s newest features which requires Android 2.3.3.

      The NookTablet (2nd generation Nook device) is an Android 2.3.3 device, which we’ll still support.

  4. @Ingemar, all.

    I too wants to limit the minimum Android version. Can I ask how do I that? I am assuming something on the build.settings file? Can I just say 4.0?

    Thanks!

    Mo

  5. This is an understandable choice but I will say that targeting Nook Color devices has been a profitable market (big fish, little pond.) I would recommend that developers consider this before opting out of this option. Of course, you may want to just keep THREE versions of Corona handy – the final G1 release, the final NOOK release and the latest Daily Build. ^_^

  6. I know what are you facing while supporting back benchers(versions). I am a web developer turned mobile app developer and I have been fighting Internet explorer all my career life. Good luck with your product!

  7. So i’m curious, if we push an update to the Play store using this new build what happens to all the people that had the app installed before hand? Do they just get a “This device isn’t supported” message and can never get another update? Can they at least continue to use their current version of the app?

    • What’ll happen is that they won’t be able to update to your newest version of your app. They’ll be stuck with using the older version.

      And end-users using Android 2.2 devices who haven’t bought your app will not be able to purchase/download your newest version. If you want to make your older version of your APK available to 2.2 users, then I “think” you need to enable “Advance” mode in the Google Play Developer Console and set it up to use multiple APKs. I haven’t done this for myself, but Google provides instructions via the link below if this is something you want to do. That is, if you think it is worth it for the remaining ~1% Android 2.2 users.
      http://developer.android.com/google/play/publishing/multiple-apks.html

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