Android 4.0, nicknamed 'Ice Cream Sandwich,' was an exciting release. It brought all the improvements in Honeycomb back to smartphones, and for the first time ever, Android had a somewhat-cohesive visual style. However, those days have long since passed, with 4.0-4.0.4 now representing less than 0.5% of the overall Android install base.
Google announced today that Play Services, the framework that provides key APIs and allows the Play Store to function, will no longer support Ice Cream Sandwich moving forward. Version 14.7.99 will be the last to run on Android 4.0-4.0.4 (API Level 14 & 15).
Devices running ICS should continue to function as normal for a while longer, but now that they're stuck with an unmaintained version of Play Services, features could start to break over the coming months. In fact, much of the OS is already broken, as Ryne noted when he tried to use a Galaxy Nexus earlier this year.
Even though this will hardly impact anyone, it's still important — Google has essentially drove the last nail into the coffin of Ice Cream Sandwich. Farewell, ICS.
- Android Developers