Pre-Android 7.1.1 devices will face connectivity issues next year

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 9, 2020
Updated • Mar 8, 2021
Google Android

From September 1, 2021 forward, Android devices still running pre-Android 7.1.1  will face connectivity issues for a large number of sites and services.

Update: A solution has been found that ensures that users on old Android devices won't face any connectivity issues later this year.

Sites and services that implement HTTPS need to use certificates for that. A popular choice is Let's Encrypt as it is offering free certificates. The service started five years ago and has since then become used widely on the Internet.

Let's Encrypt got a cross-signature from IdenTrust when it started to ensure that its certificates were trusted right away. With the partnership in place, Let's Encrypt managed to get on a lot of devices and systems in a short period of time.

The organization started to issue its own root certificate, called ISRG Root X1, and applied to have it integrated into the certification root stores of important software platforms. The original certificate is now trusted on major software platforms.

The cross-signature root certificate will expire on September 1, 2021. Expiration means that it cannot be used anymore. While that is not a problem for systems that have received the new root certificate of Let's Encrypt, it is a major problem for systems that ran out of support earlier.

On Android, that includes all devices running earlier versions of Android than 7.1.1. Let's Encrypt estimates that about a third of all Android devices are on that version or earlier versions of the operating system. Good news is that two-third of devices are up to date and will not face any connectivity issues. The remaining one third on the other hand will run into connectivity issues when they try to access sites that use a Let's Encrypt certificate. The number is lower right now already as Google has stopped publishing Android platform version distribution information in September 2020.

android platform distribution lets encrypt

Fragmentation is a problem on Android, especially since many manufacturer's of Android devices provide only limited support in regards to updates.

The only solution, other than buying a new Android device that is using a newer version of the operating system, is to use a browser that uses its own certificate store. Let's Encrypt recommends Firefox for Android for that, as it is the only major browser that comes with its own certificate store. Firefox for Android requires Android 5 or higher currently.

Google did reveal recently that it plans to switch from using the operating system's root store to its own in the company's Chrome web browser to get more control over certificates and ensure that the experience is identical on all platforms in regards to security and accessing sites.

Whether Chrome for Android will start using its own root store before September 2021 arrives remains to be seen though.

Closing Words

The market share of pre-Android 7.1.1 devices will shrink in the coming ten months but there is a good chance that a large number of devices will still be in use in September 2021.

Now You: Do you use Android? Which version are you on currently? (via Deskmodder)

Pre-Android 7.1.1 devices will face connectivity issues next year
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Pre-Android 7.1.1 devices will face connectivity issues next year
From September 1, 2021 forward, Android devices still running Android 7.1.1 or earlier will face connection issues for a large number of sites and services.
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  1. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm


    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm


    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am

        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am


    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.

    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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