The Wall Street Journal has brought us word that Google is no longer issuing fixes for whatever security flaws that appear on the oldest versions of their Internet browsers on smartphones. While this is to be expected for any software house or developer as they cannot simply devote too much resources and time to cater for an ever shrinking group of users, a formal announcement would be nice so that users can brace themselves, and where possible, make the jump to newer hardware that can run on the later versions of a particular software or app.
Apparently, the new policy would apply to the default browser in Android version 4.3, which was released some time in the middle of 2013 and known by its popular moniker, Jelly Bean, and earlier. In other words, this would translate to approximately 67% of the billion-plus Android devices that are in use at the moment, although some users might have actually updated their browsers to newer versions already.
Hence, this particular policy would not affect browsers that are in Android 4.4 KitKat or Android 5.0 Lollipop devices, which were released in October 2013 and November 2014, respectively. It was Rafay Baloch, a Pakistani security researcher, who came across Google’s shift a few months back, after he stumbled upon a handful of bugs in the old Android browser.