In Short: It seems like Google’s Chrome browser app is dropping support for Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean. According to XDA Developers, Google will soon up its minimum API level for Chrome, which is currently set at Android 4.1. That API level will be bumped up to Android 4.4 KitKat, which will essentially make Jelly Bean obsolete in Chrome’s eyes. This does not really come as a surprise, as most apps out there require phones to run Android 4.4 KitKat or even Android 5.0 Lollipop, so it was just a question of time before Google does the same. It’s not surprising that Google supported Chrome for Jelly Bean as long as it did, though, it’s Google’s operating system after all.
Background: Google had released Android 4.1 Jelly Bean way back in October 2013, so it has been five years since that happen, and it’s hard to expect a longer support than that. Since Jelly Bean, we’ve seen quite a few different versions of Android, including KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo, and Pie. Android has changed quite a bit since Jelly Bean, in basically every way, though that is a given.
Impact: According to Google’s latest Android distribution numbers, though, 3.5-percent of Android users are still using Android Jelly Bean, and considering that over a billion people use Android in general, that percentage stands for quite a few phones out there. Fragmentation has always been Android’s problem, and even though Google tried battling it as much as possible, it’s still present, and in cases like this, it definitely comes to light. Those users who still use Jelly Bean will basically have to move up the ladder in the near future, as that version of the OS has basically been obsolete for quite some time now, and Google has basically just confirmed that by removing Chrome support for it as well.
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