Only this past week, I received some emails from Google with what I thought was an unusual reminder. The emails told me that for security’s sake, Google will no longer allow me to sign on to Android devices with Android MOS versions 2.3.7 and older, beginning late in September. I was puzzled at first, considering my Android device is a recent Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Then it hit me; I did have an old Android gadget lying around: a Samsung Galaxy Tab hand-me-down from one of my relatives since the earlier half of the 2010s. I am signed into it via my personal and business Gmail addresses; but not anymore, soon.
I got confirmation from this report by The Verge that Google this past week announced that older Android devices will not allow users to sign into Google accounts effective September 27. A community post for Android Help in Google support pages explains thus: “If you sign into 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.” The only solution to this is to have your old device upgrade to a newer version of Android like 3.0 at minimum.
Google warns that similar errors will pop up on gadgets running Android 2.3.7 and below when logging in after performing a device factory reset, changing passwords, removing then re-adding a Google account on the gadget, or creating a new account. Note that Android 2.3.7 is the final release version of the Android Gingerbread MOS, the first version of which came out December 6 of 2010, and the last being September 11 of the following year. Considering that there is an estimated three billion active gadgets running Android around the world, there is no telling how many of these are old enough to be affected, like my hand-me-down Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Of course, even if September 27 comes and goes, leaving older devices that cannot upgrade Android MOS versions unable to login to Google apps without errors they will not be locked out completely. Users can still open their old gadget’s browsers, go to google.com and log in from there. That means Google services might still be made to work, but only on the device browser and not the app versions. The same deal actually happened to my old Tab’s YouTube app; it stopped working (with errors) for me in 2019, but I can still access videos on youtube.com via browser.
Still, if your old device can no longer upgrade to newer Android, the obsolescence will mean that you will increasingly have no choice but to junk them. My poor Galaxy Tab; it served me well.
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