Re: Digest for - 3 Messages in 1 Topic

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Tristan Waddington

Nov 19, 2013, 3:15:10 AM11/19/13
It really depends on your applications' audience, but I'd recommend you target a minimum sdk API level 15 (ICE_CREAM_SANDWICH_MR1). Supporting Gingerbread really doesn't make sense anymore. Yes, a significant portion of the market still uses Gingerbread, but with the holidays coming up many of these users will be upgrading. Additionally, when you factor in how long your development time is going to be you'll see additional user's upgrading to new systems.

Here's a link to the latest platform breakdown from Google:


On Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 12:06 AM, <> wrote:


    Rick Richard <> Nov 18 07:20PM -0800  

    Hi everyone,
    I develop for iOS and Android, but haven't developed an Android app in
    about 14 months. I'm getting requests from my iOS clients to build an
    Android version of their apps, but although Jelly Bean is over the 50%
    there is still confusion regarding the version of Android to target. If I
    target as far back as Gingerbread, I miss out on all the new Jellybean
    improvements. If I develop using Jellybean the app won't run on 50% of the
    active installed base!
    What is the best practice of Android developers today regarding which OS
    version(s) to target and why?
    -- Rick


    Cameron Mayer <> Nov 18 10:24PM -0800  

    Hi Rick,
    I would be inclined to target Gingerbread as a minimum unless your clients
    particular needs require a previous version (e.g. the app needs to run on
    older android hardware that is stuck on 2.2). If you target Jellybean, you
    rule out running on 25-30% of devices because they are running Gingerbread,
    and about 15% because they're running ICS.
    Unless the nature of the app requires you to target a higher minimum
    version, Gingerbread is probably your best bet. It's also possible to set
    your minimum to support Gingerbread, and still use the new features
    available in more recent versions of Android when the user's device
    supports them (running KitKat, for instance). Here's the relevant
    That being said, one of Google's objectives with KitKat was to make it run
    on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM, so it's possible that it could
    run on devices that run Gingerbread and have inadequate hardware to support
    ICS/JB. Given that many of the devices (most?) are running OEM customized
    versions of Android, I wouldn't hold my breath that Gingerbread will be
    irrelevant any time soon though. Here's an article that talks about this:
    Hope this helps,
    On Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM, Rick Richard


    Trent Peterson <> Nov 18 11:00PM -0800  

    In addition to what Rick said, I'd also challenge the assumption that
    targeting older OS' means you lose out on new features. Android, like most
    any software dev platform, is all about graceful degradation. To help with
    this, Google provides support
    there are 3rd party examples as well, like
    ActionBarSherlock <>. It's good practice to
    take advantage of these abstractions and helpers, not just for backward
    compatibility, but also for the future, when KitKat is no longer The New


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