GOOGLE has confirmed that it will soon block access to some of its most popular services on older smartphones.
The US tech titan is removing support for Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail and other apps from a handful of Android devices later this month.
It will leave what could be millions of people across the globe locked out of key software – unless they update their phone or buy a new mobile.
Google announced the deadline in a short post on its website.
The tech titan said it plans to block users from signing in with their Google Account on devices using Android 2.3 from September 27.
The ageing version of Google’s operating system launched in December 2010.
Google said it’s withdrawing support for the platform “as part of our going efforts to keep our users safe”.
The California search giant regularly drops support for ageing versions of the Android software as it releases new ones.
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That’s because older versions of operating systems are far more vulnerable to bugs and hackers.
The latest version of Android is Android 11, so 2.3 is miles behind the software running on most Android smartphones today.
In February 2017, Google suspended Google Pay contactless payments from working on handsets running Android 2.3.
Later this month, anyone using a device running the software will find that they’re unable to log in to their Google account.
They’ll receive a username and password error, even if they’ve plugged in the correct credentials.
Trying to add a Google Calendar or Gmail account to the settings menu of the device will result in the same error.
Other popular Google apps will also stop working, including YouTube, Google Play Store, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Calendar, and more.
To continue using these apps, you’ll need to upgrade your smartphone to Android 3.0.
You can do that by heading to your device settings and tapping System > Advanced > System Update.
However, since not all devices running Android 2.3 are able to make the jump to the next version, some users will be locked out for good.
Smartphones that remain stuck with Android 2.3 include Sony Xperia Advance, Lenovo K800, Sony Xperia Go, Vodafone Smart II, Samsung Galaxy S2, Sony Xperia P, LG Spectrum, Sony Xperia S, LG Prada 3.0, HTC Velocity, HTC Evo 4G, Motorola Fire, and Motorola XT532.
If you’re unable to upgrade your device, you can always work around the issue by logging into services like YouTube via your browser.
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In other news, every grave and memorial in England’s 19,000 graveyards is being mapped as part of a new project dubbed “Google Maps for graves”.
TikTok has had to ban a dangerous viral “milk crate challenge”.
WhatsApp is working on a feature that could see your messages disappear after 90 days.
And, Twitter is having to make changes to its redesign of the app after users complained about headaches and migraines.
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