WordPress.org today announced plans to drop support for Android 2.3 Gingerbread in its WordPress mobile app. The company explains that Gingerbread usage has been on a steady decline in its app, recently declining below 10 percent.
As a result, WordPress 2.9 for Android, which is slated for release “later this month,” will drop support for Gingerbread. All new versions going forward will only support devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later.
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The company explains why it is making the change:
This means over 90% of our customers are paying a “Gingerbread tax” – waiting longer for new versions and not seeing features that take advantage of their phones – so that we can continue supporting older devices.
We’ll be honest: our developers – including myself – are happy about this because it’ll make us more productive. But the thing we’re the happiest about is that it will result in a faster, smaller, better app for the large majority of our users.
Google’s latest figures show that Gingerbread is still used by 16.2 percent of Google Play users. The good news is that WordPress for Android will still work on older phones because the current version (WordPress 2.8) will continue to be available on Google Play.
Most Android developers support both older and newer devices, which requires a lot of work and slows development. Eventually there reaches a point where taking advantage of features on new devices outweighs the disadvantage of leaving users of older devices stranded. Google would naturally want to see that point come as soon as possible.
If you’re an Android developer, you should consider doing the same. Your users will thank you.
See also – WordPress 3.9 arrives with better media editing, gallery previews, audio and video playlists, and more and WordPress now powers 18.9% of the Web, has over 46m downloads, according to founder Matt Mullenweg
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