Dropping Support For Android 6

Android 6 (Marshmallow) was released to the general public on 2 October 2015. Marshmallow introduced several new features to Android such as adoptable storage, the opt-in permissions model instead of all or nothing, native support for fingerprint-based authentication and USB-C connectivity.

Six years later and right on cue Android 12 has just been released. At this point Marshmallow has not received a software update in four years as it is no longer supported by Google. Known security vulnerabilities on these devices are not being addressed as Google currently only supports security fixes from Android 8.1 upwards.

In order to accommodate support and testing on new versions of Android we have to drop support for older versions. We already have more users on Android 12 than Android 6 therefore we will soon be increasing our minimum API level from 23 to 24. Halloween has passed and there are only one or two stale marshmallows in the bottom of the bag, unfortunately they are no longer edible.

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Do you know how many of your curve users still have android 6? Have you identified them and informed them directly of the change?

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I am extremely annoyed and disappointed by this. This kind of behaviour forces perfectly good, fully functioning equipment to become landfill. My Sony Z3 compact still does everything I need, and so far no newer model can match it for it’s compact size and battery life. Both Android and phone manufacturers work on a principle of forced obsolescence, introducing new, gimmicky features and quickly dropping support for older models. All these extra features keep making the phones larger, more data hungry with a reduced battery life. As the OP says, Android has had 6 new versions in 6 years which is ridiculous.

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@AndrewTurvey good question, at the moment less than 0.18% of our users are on Android 6. This is the first place we inform our users of these plans. There will be other messaging directly to the users as we aren’t dropping support immediately.

@AW I understand your disappointment. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to support all devices forever. You are absolutely correct about the manufactures and Google, they get away with very little support as they would like you purchase new devices. Typically manufactures are providing OTA updates for the device for less than two years, at a push on a flagship device maybe 3 years. Google tend to stop even putting out security patches after 4 years. On the other hand most app developers are supporting a version of Android over 6 years after it was released.

Out of interest how many times have you replaced the battery on your Z3 compact?

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Never. Original battery, Accubattery give it a 89% health score.
Have had to swap the touchscreen though.
It is still regarded as a decent handset (amongst adults). It is possible to run newer Android versions, for example Lineage OS version of Android 10 apparently runs great so there aren’t hardware issues preventing its continued use.
(There are downsides to using a custom OS, it’s quite difficult to install, even harder to get it past google’s safetnet to allow banking apps, it degrades the camera due to Sony’s not allowing their software plus the battery life goes down due to Android insisting on doing more in the background. If somebody has got their Z3c working with Lineage and banking apps I would be interested to hear from you.)
Google should release LTS (long term support) version of their OS like Ubuntu do for PC’s, so for example Android 6, 8 & 10 could still get security updates but not 7 or 9, those devices can update or downgrade to the nearest. This would halve the workload on app developers to keep their apps compatible.

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If you are able to find a good working release of Lineage for your device and you know how to install it safe way (bootloader unlocking, twrp, etc…) for banking app, to date, best solution is:

  • install latest Magisk to root
  • enable Magiskhide for banking apps, Google Play & some other modules…
  • hiddens Magisk Manager app by its settings option
  • install latest Riru module for Riru support (you can install it in Magisk)
  • install latest LSposed for Xposed support (like Gravitybox, etc…). Stay away from EdXposed!
  • (only IF needed!) install the Safety net fix module in Magisk (only IF needed!)

You’ll have recovery for backups/security, root (for apps like TitaniumBackup, AdAway, etc), Xposed support for nice modules & perfect Safetynet for those stupid banking apps which wouldn’t want to work on modified device (like GooglePay, Revolut, etc…) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: