Google, in its effort to keep delivering the best features for Android users and let go of redundant apps and platforms, has announced that it will discontinue Play Services support for devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). This is no surprise as they did something similar with Gingerbread and Honeycomb in early 2017.
Justifying the decision in a blog post, Google explained that the Android 4.0 ICS platform accounts for a meagre 0.3% of the 2 billion+ active Android users, and the platform has been around for 7 years. Since most Android users are now on Android 7.0 Nougat, Android 8.0 Oreo or Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it only makes sense to stop pushing updates to platforms that have a diminishing user base.
Play Services is a framework that enables app updates on Google Play. It provides core functionality like authentication for Google services, access to the latest user privacy settings, and enhances app experience. Without Play Services updates, ICS powered devices will lose access to the latest app updates and Google services.
If your Android device still runs version 4.0 (you can check by going to Settings > About Phone > Android version), it might be time for you to consider upgrading your device. You can check out our list of affordable phones.
Google also advised that app developers will need to target devices running Android 4.1 Jellybean from now on, else they would encounter errors when building their projects.