“As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our users safe, Google will no longer allow sign-in on Android devices that run Android 2.3.7 or lower starting September 27, 2021," the company said in a support page. “If you sign into your device after September 27, you may get username or password errors when you try to use Google products and services like Gmail, YouTube, and Maps," it added.
The change shouldn’t affect too many users, given that most devices today are launched on Android 10 or above. According to Stat Counter, versions of Android before Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0), which was launched in 2011, account for only about 0.1 percent of all the Android devices running in the world.
The company did say that there are over three billion Android devices in the world though, so that still makes about 3 million smartphones that will become almost completely useless from September 27 onwards. “When support ends for sign-in with a Google Account on Android 2.3.7 and below, you will receive a username or password error if you try to sign in to your devices or to add an email or calendar account," the post said.
According to Google, certain activities could lead to errors. This includes performing a factory reset, changing passwords on any of your devices which logs you out of other devices, removing your account from the device and re-adding it, and creating a new account on such a device.