Google has announced that it will no longer provide support or updates for its decade-old Android KitKat operating system. This move comes as Google continues to focus on newer and more secure versions of its Android OS for a better user experience and enhanced security.

In an official announcement on the Android Developers Blog, Google revealed that it will stop releasing support for KitKat in future releases of Google Play services. The tech giant cited the declining active device count, falling below 1%, as the primary reason behind this move. It noted that Google Play services will be discontinuing updates for KitKat (API levels 19 & 20) starting August 2023.

“As of July 2023, the active device count on KK is below 1% as more and more users update to the latest Android versions. Therefore, we are no longer supporting KK in future releases of Google Play services. KK devices will not receive versions of the Play Services APK beyond 23.30.99,” reads the official blog post.

Why Google is ending support for Android KitKat

The Android KitKat, which was released in 2013, enjoyed significant popularity at the time. However, with the rapid advancements in technology over the years, Google notes that the KitKat OS has become outdated and can no longer support the security and improvements related to new technology. Furthermore, without these updates, the OS also becomes vulnerable to potential security risks for users. “The Android KitKat (KK) platform was first released ~10 years ago and since then, we’ve introduced many innovative improvements and features for Android, which are unavailable on KK,” notes Google.

Furthermore, the decision of Google to stop support for KitKat OS is also in line with its commitment to provide a safer and more reliable experience to its users. By ending support for older versions, Google plans to focus its resources on improving the security and functionality of its newer Android OS offerings.

What Android users can do 

Google is advising users to upgrade their Android devices to a newer version, preferably Android 10 or the latest Android 11. This is to ensure optimal performance and security. By upgrading, users will not only get the latest features and bug fixes, but they will also be able to continue using Android services.

Further, for users who are still using Android KitKat, Google recommends that they consider upgrading their devices or getting a new smartphone that supports the latest Android versions. This is important for security reasons, as older Android versions are more vulnerable to cyber attack and other bad actors online.

Notably,  Google earlier removed its support for Jelly Bean OS at API 16 and 18 back in 2021.

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