Supported Android versions are changing in Firefox 46

Richard Newman rnewman at mozilla.com
Fri Jan 1 02:55:31 UTC 2016


tl;dr: Firefox for Android will no longer support Honeycomb (API 11-13)
devices as of Firefox 46.

We just landed a change for Android ARM builds in Bug 1155801
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1155801>. This change takes
our supported API versions from

  9-10, 11+

to

  9-10, 14+

That is, we have maintained our Gingerbread-only build, and eliminated
support for Honeycomb from our main build.

This change also applies to b2gdroid (which will now be 14+ only).

x86 builds will shortly shift to support only 15+, because the number of
x86 devices running API 14 or lower is vanishingly small. That work is
tracked in Bug 1062537
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1062537>.

The motivation for this change is straightforward: Honeycomb is an outdated
Android version that takes a disproportionate amount of effort to test and
keep working. It doesn't have many users, it's hard to get test devices,
and we have bunch of code that exists just for Honeycomb compatibility.

We expect both developer productivity and APK size improvements from the
follow-up work in Bug 1217675
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1217675>.

Honeycomb devices that have already installed Firefox from Google Play will
no longer see updates past Firefox 45. New Honeycomb devices won't see
Firefox as available at all. We plan to stop serving Nightly and Aurora
updates via Firefox's own internal updater as soon as this change sticks.

Thanks to everyone who did the legwork for testing and reviewing, and
thanks in advance to the folks who'll be tackling the updater changes,
release notes, etc. etc.

Any questions: please contact me, :nalexander, :liuche, or :margaret.

Happy new year!

-R
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