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A few weeks go, I posted about adopting an Android 4.0+ only development policy.

https://plus.google.com/103583939320326217147/posts/SvXCJrzLVJa

Critics were quick to say that "well, you'll only reach half your audience". I disagreed; activations and API version stats do not reflect actual app usage.

And here's some numbers to back my statement.
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Mark Brainerd's profile photoCharles Winters's profile photoBryce Neely's profile photoShiv Manas Dass's profile photo
23 comments
 
Wish the company I work for could adopt that policy.
 
the more you and other developers push for 4.0 or better the more complaining the end users will have that their device is being left behind which is fine because maybe it will push the OEMs/Carriers to get their crap together to keep their phones/tablets updated. I applaud your stance.
 
New sales drive the market for these devices. Everyone wants the newest phone.
 
Perhaps going back 2 years in OS version support would be fair, most contracts, at least in the US, are 2 years. 
 
Drop froyo and watch the headaches melt away
 
I agree. All the new users of my app were mostly ICS and above. Backporting isn't simply worth the effort.
Ryan R
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+Koushik Dutta I'd be curious to see what your numbers look like. My guess is, they're quite different than 500px's.

I think it's going to vary wildly from app to app. My company's flagship app would be excluding more than half our audience if we stopped supporting versions prior to 4.x. On the other hand, some of the other apps we've written for third parties would be doing just fine.

It's totally dependent on the audience. My hunch is, given your focus on the Android enthusiast, your numbers on the recent apps (ex: Carbon) probably show an even higher percentage of 4.x users than 500px. Am I right?
 
+michael interbartolo they wouldn't even be able to comment in the play store because they can't see the app because it won't show up in the play store for anything lower than 4.0
 
true, but +Bryce Neely when all the cool android news sites rave about how cool the app is they will know what they are missing due to carriers/OEMs dragging their feet on updates.
 
+Koushik Dutta I've always felt this is the way to go. You can't make things backward compatible forever or you shoot yourself in the foot trying. Also, from a dev point of view gb and ics are remarkably different. If it wasn't for the support libraries it would be almost impossible to do both.
 
I have a couple of apps on Play store, and Gingerbread makes about 20% of the user base. Earlier versions are in low single digits. Over 75% are 4.0 and higher. So, yeah, you may be losing some users by going ICS+ only, but froyo and earlier versions can safely be ignored.
 
I'm all for Android 4.0+ development only policy. Only 5% of user of my app use a version below 4.0. 
 
Make this a big deal take this to the blogs send it to Phil ! And the rest of the android bloggers I'm all for it
 
I believe it depends on your app.  If your apps consist of backing up, modding, rooting, battery use, and anything else that your tech savvy population gets off on, then most of them purchase new devices and are on 4.0+.  

If you are making Angry birds rip off or some drawing app, then you need to capture the broad audience because the none tech savvy users may not upgrade.
 
+Brandon Ferree this is where I think your comment is 50/50 , suppose a app like Instagram was to only work for 4.0 and above due to its high demand to come to Android. I believe the average Joes that was left on Gingerbread and below would've upgraded there phones or at least attempted to root there phones because they wanted to find out why Instagram did not work on there devices and that would've helped Androids fragmentation , that's where I believe our apps play apart of androids fragmentation in some form.

Instagram Is Based on Gingerbread anyways but optimized for higher versions of Android it shouldnt be like that
 
But then what would android fans say when arguing that apple sucks because some of their apps don't work on older versions of iOS?
 
+Jason Kurtz that's a different field , iOS still looks the same. Androids U.I. system overall is different, new api levels, Holo on Gingerbread is nasty , were on 4.2 now soon to be 5.0 , starting from 4.0 is good enough
 
It is nice to see evidence behind what I have always thought. 
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