Google Chrome, the dominant web browser on both desktop and mobile platforms for over a decade, is set to make a significant change with its upcoming version. Chrome 120, scheduled for release on December 6, will officially end support for Android Nougat (versions 7.0 and 7.1), marking a shift in Google’s support for older Android versions.
The End of an Era for Android Nougat Users
Introduced in 2016 alongside the original Google Pixel, Android Nougat represented a pivotal moment for Google’s software and hardware integration. However, with the advent of Chrome 120, users still operating on Android 7.0 and 7.1 will find themselves without Chrome support. This move follows a similar pattern observed last year when Google ceased Chrome updates for Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the release of Chrome 107.
Chrome’s Evolution and Its Impact
Since its initial release on Android in late 2012, Chrome has consistently been the most popular mobile browser, even on iOS devices where it competes with Safari. The browser has undergone numerous updates, including a recent Material You design overhaul in version 117. However, the decision to discontinue support for older Android versions like Nougat reflects the rapid pace of technological advancement and the need to focus on newer operating systems.
What’s Next for Chrome and Android Users
While Chrome 120 brings an end to updates for Nougat users, it introduces several enhancements for those on newer Android versions. These include new visual display options for the omnibox and toolbars, such as transparency settings to improve the user experience on sites that don’t load correctly. As the tech world continues to evolve, it’s anticipated that future Chrome updates may also phase out support for other older Android versions, possibly including Android 8.0 Oreo next year.
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