We were thinking of dropping support for older Android versions, providing support for API level 14 and later (from Android 4.0 on). We’d have several advantages:
latest support for Google Play services libraries (which means latest Google Maps, push notifications fixes, etc.)
faster integration of new features through 3rd party libraries (e.g. if we have to support location sharing on Android 2.3, we’d have to rewrite several components to make it work)
support for new (and more stable) UI stuff, almost impossible to do (or very hard to do) with current compatibility level
less Android versions to test
Google has already dropped support for Android < 4.0 with their Play Services library, and I guess they will soon drop support also for the support library (appcompat), which is the core component that allows us to give support for Android 2.3. From Google Play stats Android 2.3 is running on less than 1% of our users, same stats from Crashlytics. We don’t know from F-Droid because we don’t collect stats on that platform.
We’d like your feedback on that. What do you think?
I use Android 2.3, do not drop support for it please!
Drop support for Android 2.3! It’s dark ages stuff anyway…
That’s right. However, at some point they will become incompatible because e.g. we’ll drop support for simple OpenPGP encryption sooner or later. We’ll keep it as long as we can, but eventually we’ll remove it altogether.
Seriously, we might decide also to drop support for Android 2 after introducing OMEMO/OTR. That would mean that backwards compatibility will be guaranteed virtually forever (or we’ll try very hard to keep it).