Have an old smartphone running Android 2.1 or earlier? First of all, wow. Second of all, you’re about to lose access to the Android Market (which is the precursor to the Google Play Store).
Google has announced it’s ending support for the Android Market on devices running Android 2.1 Eclair or older, effective June 30th.
That means you’ll no longer be able to download and install apps, get app updates, or do anything else that requires accessing Google’s old app marketplace.
The move comes 7 years after the release of Android 2.1, and quite honestly, odds are that not too many people will be affected. Even if you do still have a device running Eclair, I suspect you have a hard time finding compatible apps in the Android Market these days. Developers have largely moved on.
You could still enable support for installation of apps from unknown sources and install a third-party app store like F-Droid if you want to continue downloading and installing new apps.
Google says the Android Market for Android 2.2 and later will continue to be supported “for as long as feasible,” but notes that Android 2.2 also supports the Google Play Store.
While it’s kind of remarkable that Google hadn’t pulled the plug on the Android Market years ago, this is another reminder of the difference between smartphones and PCs: I bet there are plenty of you with a 7-year-old computer lying around, and it’s probably still capable of running up-to-date software. But a phone that’s been around for that long is positively ancient.
It probably makes a decent alarm clock though.