A new build of Google Photos is now rolling out into the Google Play Store and while it doesn’t bring any new features, it does raise the oldest supported version of Android. The new Photos build is version 3.14 and with it, API level 19 is the oldest supported level. That, for those who don’t recall, is Android KitKat.
The dropping of the now five year old Android Jelly Bean in this update to Google Photos isn’t a surprise. Google has been slowly, and mostly quietly, moving the minimum supported API level up on their apps over the past year. It is all in an effort to keep their development activities focused more on current versions of Android where they can offer more features.
While support for Jelly Bean is gone in this update, it does not mean that Photos will quit working on your phone if you are still using it. For now at least, Photos should continue to work but you won’t be receiving any more updates to the app on your phone. Eventually Google will stop the app from running on Jelly Bean but that’s probably not for another few months if indeed a year.
That said, for security reasons alone, if you are running a Jelly Bean device, it is well past time to update.
Look for the update to Google Photos to come to your phone via an OTA update sometime over the course of the next few days.