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Android 2.3 Gingerbread was the seventh version of Android, developed and released by Google in December 2010. With the release of Gingerbread, Google introduced the support for near field communication (NFC) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) —used for VOIP services. As of April 2020, statistics issued by Google indicate that 0.2% of all Android devices accessing Google Play run Gingerbread.

Starting September 27, devices running Android 2.3.7 and lower will no longer be able to log in to Google services, effectively eliminating a big part of the on-rails Android experience, as Google puts it in an official community post.

“If you sign in to your device after September 27, you may get username or password errors when you try to use Google products and services like Gmail, YouTube, and Maps.”

Any Google services requiring to allow sign-ins from Android 2.3.7 and below versions would have to agree to 2011-era security standards, which involves disabling two-factor authentication (2FA) and allowing a special “allow less-secure access” setting in your Google account. These requirements make these versions very insecure for the user.

After September 27, the oldest version of Android that Google users would be able to sign in to is Android 3.0 Honeycomb, available for only tablets. However, Google realized that login security updates could become an issue in the future, so they added a “sign-in via browser” option to the initial setup.

The “sign-in via browser” feature offers an advantage in that even if the Android login is broken, it will redirect you out to a web page—which can be renewed with the latest technology—and can then forward that login to the OS. So while it is still not enough to make Honeycomb secure, it is enough to keep this OS alive for now.

The Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform introduced many new and exciting features for Google users. The features included:

  • System Bar – Global status and notifications: Users have immediate access to notifications, system status, and soft navigation buttons in the System Bar. The System Bar is always present at the bottom of the screen.
  • Action Bar – Application control: Users have access to contextual options, navigation, widgets, or other types of content in an Action Bar, displayed at the top of the screen.
  • Customizable Home screens: Users can avail on-the-spot access to all system parts using 5 customizable Home screens. They can also choose and manage Home screen widgets, app shortcuts, wallpapers, contacts, media files, web content, and more.

The Android 3.0 platform is created especially to satisfy the uncommon needs of applications on devices with larger screen sizes. It offers all of the means developers need to create incredible visual and interactive experiences on these devices, such as:

  • New UI framework for building great tablet apps
  • High-performance 2D and 3D graphics
  • Assistance for multicore processor architectures
  • Smart multimedia and connectivity
  • Improvements for enterprise compatibility with existing apps

Accordingly to Android Studio’s active user base breakdowns for Android versions, Gingerbread has a low device count that it doesn’t even make the list. It’s less than 0.2% of active devices, behind 14 other versions of Android.

android-studio-google-user-database

Users with the old Android operating systems can still sideload third-party applications that could replace the conventional Google apps. Also, technical users who cannot get a new device can even sideload a whole new operating system with an aftermarket Android ROM.

It is always ideal to keep yourself updated with the latest Android platform version and avoid using modified (rooted) Android versions just for not getting a new device. Let’s look at some of the security risks involved with using modified (rooted) Android versions.

  • Security updates: Security updates from the developers help keep your device safe from various online threats. Modified versions of Android don’t receive any security updates from Google, which will make your device and data vulnerable to any cybersecurity threat.
  • Malicious apps: Modified version of Android can easily invite apps that aren’t approved by Google or have unrestricted access to your phone’s data. These apps are usually equipped with malicious software that can harm steal your personal data.
  • No security from Google: Google’s default security features are compromised when you modified your device, leaving it vulnerable to harmful software and phishing attempts.

Few security tips for modified (rooted) Android versions

Check out our guides for premium and free VPN protection on Android device