The team over at XDA Developers did some digging through the most recent version of the Chrome Android app and found an interesting new commit. The commit leads us to believe that in the very near future, Chrome will no longer support Android devices running Jellybean.
Currently, Chrome can be installed from the Google Play Store on any device with Android 4.1 or newer. Soon though, only devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or newer will be supported.
Although the overwhelming majority of Android devices run on KitKat or later, there are still plenty of devices on Jellybean. According to the most recent Android distribution numbers, 3.2 percent of Android devices are still on a version of Jellybean.
Since there are over one billion Android devices, 3.2 percent of a billion is 32 million devices. Ouch.
Granted, just because an Android device can’t use Chrome doesn’t mean that the phone can’t access the internet or breaks it in some way. But Chrome is the world’s most popular internet browser and not having access to it anymore could be a big deal for many folks.
There’s no timeline yet known for when Google is going to pull the plug on Jellybean and Chrome, but since there’s already a commit in the Chrome code it will most likely be fairly soon.