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From Joe Bowser <>
Subject Re: Widening the window (was: The Deprecation of Froyo)
Date Fri, 31 May 2013 19:14:28 GMT
On Fri, May 31, 2013 at 2:43 PM, Marcel Kinard <> wrote:
> Starting off, specifically, I'm asking if we can keep Android 2.2 in Cordova head. For
how long? Until the OS usage in these markets drops into the "doesn't matter" threshold. I
suspect that will not be just a few months. And does the definition of "keep" mean "actively
support" or "just avoid breaking it"? I'm open to suggestions. If I'm the only person asking
for this, I understand I need to have some skin in the game.


In fact, I'll say hell no. We base our deprecation of Android
platforms on the good old Android Pie Chart found at  The pie
chart shows which people actually download applications on the Play
Store.  I don't care about Android 2.2 devices that don't connect to
the store because they don't connect to the store and Cordova isn't
distributed to these people.  These people don't matter because they
don't use apps, whether it be Cordova or a native Android application.
 Supporting users who will never use apps is insane!

Now, the Chinese market was problematic until recently, because Play
was blocked until a month or so ago.  That being said, I think the
Android Pie Chart is a very solid way to tell whether the version
matters or not because these are the people who download apps.  In
fact, if I was an application developer, I'd want to know about the
people who actually buy apps and in-app items, and what they run, and
I wouldn't support any of the freeloaders.  That's where the group of
android developers who tweet about minApiLevel=14 come from.

If we don't use the Android Pie Chart to determine what to support,
what do we use? Stories from the guy who hasn't upgraded their phone
in years? The fact is that the store is the only real way that we can
have any metrics on people who actually use apps, including people who
use Cordova apps.

Finally, one of the big problems with supporting old versions for so
long is maintaining old devices.  Devices eventually break.  When you
install and uninstall something on a phone enough times, things get
weird, and even when you factory reset the device, things tend to not
work the same after three years of testing.  We have one Android 2.1
device and one Android 2.2 device.  They tend to not work on the
device wall for some weird reason, and it's time consuming to run
mobile-spec on them such that it's not a worthwhile use of time to
actually make sure that we don't break Android 2.1 and 2.2 in the real
world.  When is the last time anyone else who works on Android tested
on Froyo?  Does anyone remember the last time they tested Eclair when
we claimed to support that?  The emulator doesn't count!

So, no, I see zero value in extending our deprecation window larger
than it currently is.  We should support users who actually use apps,
not people who don't.

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