Posted on 2014-04-02, 44 comments, 436 +1's, imported from Google+/Chainfire

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Good news everyone! Over 80% of Android users are now on Ice Cream Sandwich or newer (with 66% on Jelly Bean or newer, and 33% on Jelly Bean MR2 or newer), according to Google Play stats.

This means that Gingerbread is now pretty much dead to me, and new developments will now finally indeed treat it that way.

Where many Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat specifics need a bit of extra code or consideration here and there, you can (usually, there are always edge-cases) support the entire 4.x branch with very little overhead.

Gingerbread on the other hand, does not support many of the APIs you want to use - and even though for some of these APIs support libraries are available, those are not without their own quirks and issues.

As a rule of thumb, a Gingerbread app only had the memory to hold three fullscreen images in memory - factors less than the memory an app has had available since Honeycomb, should it need it. If you're working with high resolution imagery (which several of my apps do) this is absolute hell to support.

The garbage collector also has a lot of influence over performance. Between Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich there have been some significant changes in how the garbage collector works, when it collects, and how it does so. As a result, code that (after some effort) ran GC-interruption-free (needed for high-fps software-decoded image display, for example) on Gingerbread would not do so on Ice Cream Sandwich. While it was not so difficult to also make this happen on the latter, the trick often is to get the same piece of code to behave the same way on both framework versions at the same time - and keeping it so between patches.

There are countless examples of similar cases throughout all my code and apps, where complexity (and frustration) has been added because 2.x, often taking more valuable time than expected.

Of course, it will take (quite) a while for all the 2.x-isms to disappear, and I won't drop 2.x support from apps without reason.

For example, SuperSU still has several million users on Gingerbread, so the overhaul that I've been wanting to do for ages on the UI (mostly internals) will still have to wait some more.

The same with DSLR Controller - a lot of the more quirky things and behaviors are because 2.x, and those will not be taken out unless I have reason to touch those parts of the code.

Still, today is the day I officially stop going out of my way to support Gingerbread. A good day indeed.

Shiv Manas commented on 2014-04-02 at 09:25:

Minor typo +Chainfire, it should be "over 80% of Android users *are now on.."*

Gabriel commented on 2014-04-02 at 09:27:

Maybe it should say are on ice cream sandwich or later

Chainfire commented on 2014-04-02 at 09:29:

+Shiv Manas Dass +Gabe Codina both have been corrected

Craig Carboni commented on 2014-04-02 at 09:36:


Minas Keshishyan commented on 2014-04-02 at 09:47:

+Chainfire Thanks for the great post. I'm currently working on a backport to Gingerbread of a huge project and indeed it is very time consuming and I got countless OOMs..

Chainfire commented on 2014-04-02 at 09:59:

+Minas Keshishyan Ouch! Hard to economically justify in many cases as well - but that is food for a different post.

+Johnathon Thompson Yes, this is certainly possible. In fact, if I were to upgrade the minimum API level in a new version of the app, by default, the older version will remain available for users on a device running an older version.

Hannu Tuunanen commented on 2014-04-02 at 10:03:

I think its really bad that they don't update the android versions more often. And especially Google. They said that older phones would be able to be updated to at least 4.4 but when released they took a huge dump on everyone. Even on nexus 4 owners.

Pavel Tikhonov commented on 2014-04-02 at 10:04:

As much as I wanted pre-4.0 Android versions just die so that developers could completely focus on aesthetics of Holo UI and use the appropriate interface assets like loading spinners and sliders, I realize that it just would not be fair to treat 3.2, 2.3 and 2.2 users that way by just screwing them via dropping support

Shiv Manas commented on 2014-04-02 at 10:11:

+Heyno Despotovic What are you on about? The Nexus 4 is currently still supported by Google, and running 4.4.2 officially.

Diego Cruz commented on 2014-04-02 at 10:36:

+Paulo Monteiro , adios Gingerbread pra ele, hehee

Ailín Ó'S commented on 2014-04-02 at 11:13:

I'm running KitKat on both my devices.

D' RIO SLAYER commented on 2014-04-02 at 11:31:

me,in running kitkat4.4.2 build4 slimrom try it,i love slimrom

Roberto Radaelli commented on 2014-04-02 at 11:32:

Réquiem aetérnam dona ei, Dómine,

et lux perpétua lúceat ei.

Requiéscat in pace.

D' RIO SLAYER commented on 2014-04-02 at 11:33:


D' RIO SLAYER commented on 2014-04-02 at 11:37:

try slim rom for your android its nice..,

J K commented on 2014-04-02 at 11:40:

The API if the DUI is gsm, while the os configures with the interface.

Lane Larson commented on 2014-04-02 at 11:57:

+ahmed ramzy Try searching XDA forums. If you can't find a solution, post your issue there. They can usually figure out most issues.

J K commented on 2014-04-02 at 12:04:

Or you can reconfigure the alteration on the user interference log. I personally prefer demodulizing the interference code.

Gabriel Marin commented on 2014-04-02 at 13:22:

Samsung infuse 4g still running gingerbread..?

Yannick Charron commented on 2014-04-02 at 13:49:

Good news

Caleb Schmidt commented on 2014-04-02 at 14:20:

I'm sticking with Cupcake! 

Kevin Miller commented on 2014-04-02 at 14:59:

Running kit kat 4.3 and loving it

Shashi Ranjan commented on 2014-04-02 at 15:10:
  • Kevin Miller Wat? There is no KitKat 4.3
Bitmaster2000 commented on 2014-04-02 at 15:12:

I don't run gingerbread. I eat it!

ranbir gurung commented on 2014-04-02 at 15:15:

oh yeah...

Mohamed Razik commented on 2014-04-02 at 15:22:

Thank is very much

Julie Debbs commented on 2014-04-02 at 15:49:

Elizabeth gade attorney

Kevin Miller commented on 2014-04-02 at 15:58:

+Shashi Ranjan sorry...meant jellybean

Hosam Arnous commented on 2014-04-02 at 17:53:

Great news

Nathan Myron commented on 2014-04-02 at 18:10:

+Billy Obeltjen Only if you add them all up? Maybe you misread. 80% of Android users are on ICS or better, with 66% of that group running JB or newer, and 33% on JB MR2 or better. The 66% and 33% are subsets...

Digi Frennson commented on 2014-04-02 at 18:31:

I have no idea what you are talking about. I've had an android for 2 years.

Nathan Myron commented on 2014-04-02 at 18:32:

+Esteve Varela You're seriously saying GB runs more stable than Kitkat? Or faster?

I have had an Android device in hand since the G1. I've run every build put out in between, and upgrade devices when I can no longer get the current version on my device.

I have never had a phone run better than my last phone did on CM11. I'm excited to see if Sony and Tmobile update my Z1s to 4.4 as well.

Google has done nothing but improve the software at each rev. Along with that, I don't think I could make it through a day without Google Now...

Mike Bartlett commented on 2014-04-03 at 04:36:

Whats the problem with gingerbread ?I have more than one device an older one is on gingerbread and runs fine

Daremo Sensanome commented on 2014-04-03 at 12:45:

Strange topic this of stay in certain version of android. I agree if a device can't handle a new version, but to keep my Note 3 in GB instead of KK for any reason doesn't seem wise.

Of course, an old version can seem "stable" or "fast", but don't forget all the functionabilities that old version is missing.

Daremo Sensanome commented on 2014-04-03 at 17:30:

Esteve, you are missing Google Now Launcher, but if you're a happy user of your device, then avoid the stress of install a new version. Then GB is "stable" and even "fast"... for you.

I just think that Google in every version is adding new functionabilities. I love to check them; that's other way to enjoy a device.

Daremo Sensanome commented on 2014-04-03 at 22:02:

Esteban.. Esteban... or Steve... Steve... wise guy!!!

Sanket Pandey commented on 2014-04-04 at 02:17:

gb was the best android os ever... however it lacked customisation but still the fastest and the most memory friendly os... phones wid 256mb ram ran gb without a glitch...

Bitmaster2000 commented on 2014-04-06 at 02:50:

So what you mean by "good news everyone", +Chainfire, is actually "good news for over 80% of everyone". :P

Rosario Valerio commented on 2014-04-09 at 06:14:

Ahahah! Good morning Doctor Putricide, and good to know that your great work continues. Thumbs up for you. ;)

Yasser Awadh commented on 2014-04-13 at 01:50:

Ok awill buy anather samsung calaxy note 3

Khorshid Alam commented on 2014-05-08 at 20:45:


Sharfyq Farhanシ commented on 2014-08-21 at 14:37:

So Good

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