Starting in August 2023, Google Play Services will discontinue support for Android KitKat in its new releases. KitKat, which was released in 2013, will lose support just before its 10th anniversary. This decision comes as Google aims to prioritize supporting more modern Android platforms that offer advanced features and improved security updates.
KitKat was a significant release for Android, introducing various key features such as immersive full-screen mode, Hands-free Google Now with a full-screen widget, native printer support, subtitles and closed captioning support in the video player, a better dialer with quick dial and smarter caller ID, emoji on the Google keyboard, and a Google Now page on the home screen.
Reasons for Ending Support
After nearly a decade since its release, Google has decided to phase out support for KitKat in Play Services. The decision is driven by the understanding that continuing to support KitKat requires additional developer time without providing significant benefits to the majority of users.
User Base Analysis
Google’s analysis indicates that less than 1% of active Android devices still run on KitKat. With such a small user base, supporting the aging platform in Play Services becomes impractical, leading to the company’s decision to discontinue support for KitKat in future Play Services releases.
Starting from version 23.30.99 in August, Google Play Services will no longer be compatible with devices running Android 4.4 (API levels 19 & 20) as support for KitKat will be dropped. This means that devices using KitKat will no longer receive updates or support from Google Play Services.
While Android KitKat has served as a crucial milestone in the Android operating system’s history, its time has come to an end. Google’s decision to end support for KitKat in Play Services will allow the company to focus on providing better experiences and security updates for more modern Android platforms, benefiting the majority of users worldwide.