Outlook for Android Will Soon Require Android 8.0 or Newer

Posted on February 17, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Android, Mobile, Office 365 with 11 Comments

Microsoft’s Outlook app for Android is about to leave some users in the dust. Starting May 23, 2022, Android 8.0 will replace Android 7.0 as the minimum supported version of the mobile OS for installing Microsoft’s email client.

“If users in your organization are using Outlook for Android on phones running an older version of Android, they will no longer be able to update to newer versions of Outlook for Android when this change is implemented,” the company explained on the Microsoft 365 Admin Center yesterday.

Even though Android 8.0 was released almost five years ago, there are still many users running older versions of the mobile OS. According to Google’s latest official Android version distribution numbers shared by Android Police in November, 17.3% of Android users were still running Android 7.1 or older.

The Android fragmentation problem isn’t exactly something new, but the Outlook team is actually being quite generous with Android users: In comparison, Outlook for iOS requires iOS 14 as the minimum, and this version was only released in Fall 2020.

Outlook for Android and iOS are pretty solid email mobile clients, though Google’s Gmail Android app also supports multiple email accounts just fine. Anyway, if you’re still using a phone running Android 7.0 or older, you should probably think about upgrading to a newer and more secure device.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Outlook for Android Will Soon Require Android 8.0 or Newer”

  1. Bart

    I always wonder what the reason is for not supporting an older OS. Does Outlook have specific code to run on Android 7, 8,9, etc.?

    • darkgrayknight

      Most likely just trying to reduce the set of devices and OS versions to test with every change. Support for mobile OSes has not been the same as desktop systems. Apple keeps only a small number of versions in support and Google does as well. Most device manufacturers have had only 2 versions supported for a released device.

    • mikegalos

      Two reasons:

      1. As darkgrayknight stated, more versions means more testing and support.
      2. As applications add features to support new features in the new OS versions that means either having different feature sets in the same app on different platforms (confusing to users) or only implementing features that existed in the oldest supported OS (bad for users)

    • igor engelen

      I don't really know but my first guess would be that Outlook uses 'functions/code' in Android 8 that are no longer deemed safe.

    • dftf

      Mostly just to save extra effort testing on, and coding workarounds for, older Android versions that fewer-and-fewer people will be using. (I'd imagine many companies might not even own any old handsets or tablets now running archaic versions of Android they could do real-world testing on!)

      According to StatCounter, as of this January, Android devices worldwide were running the following:

      Android 12 (Snow Cone): 4%

      Android 11 (Red Velvet Cake): 37.6%

      Android 10 ("Q") : 25.5%

      Android 9 (Pie): 12.6%

      Android 8 (Oreo): 9.4%

      Android 7 (Nougat): 4.7%

      Android 6 (Marshmallow): 3%

      Android 5 (Lollipop): 1.9%

      So that's just-over 89% on one of the most-recent five versions.

  2. red.radar

    Feel bad for those people who are on BYOD models for their work device and don't receive a stipend.

  3. bleeman

    I was concerned at first and then realized the only Android device I had that would be affected was my Galaxy S2 Nook (It stopped getting updates at Android 6). So, no problem here as I only use it for reading nowadays. I still like this device the best for my reading. Very light, somewhat rubberized back so no slipping, and gorgeous 8" screen. I had always hoped that Samsung would release a version of this device for Windows as it is still one of the best all-around tablets I've owned. I'm sorry their later tablet releases got thicker and heavier.

  4. dftf

    Looking at the latest versions other apps, the cut-off points do seem to vary.

    Web browsers: Marshmallow (6.0) is the minimum most now support: Brave, Google Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi all require it as their minimum (most-likely because that is the minimum OS Google's "WebView" now runs on), though the latest Firefox still runs on the previous Lollipop (5.0).

    Media apps: YouTube also requires Marshmallow, but Lollipop remains the lowest you can go for the various UK media apps, such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and My5.

    Social media: Facebook wants Marshmallow minimum, but the "Lite" version will support from Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.4) upwards. Snapchat wants KitKat (4.4) minimum. Instagram wants Lollipop minimum, but the "Lite" variant supports ICS onwards. Jelly Bean (4.1) is the minimum for WhatsApp.

    The latest release of Outlook (v4.2204.2) currently requires Android 7 or later; v4.2122.2 (25 Jun 2021) was the last that worked on Android 6.0, and v4.2120.2 (5 Jun 2021) was the last for Lollipop.

    (I wonder how this situation compared on the iOS side -- do app updates just stop once Apple stops supporting a version of iOS or not? Or if you stick on an older iOS, do you still get app updates?)

    • IanYates82

      Thanks for the extra info (this sort of stuff is useful context I'd like to see in this sort of article frankly)

      I don't remember hearing about the sky falling June last year when Outlook mobile last changed its supported Android version. I suspect it'll be the same this time, which is good news.

      Surprising how the browsers and social apps support such old versions of Android. My guess for the browsers is that they (Google, etc) know the browser will still be used on the old devices and it'd be a massive security issue for people to not keep them patched. The socials want users so will support the older phones for as long as they can

  5. compuser

    People trying to make this into some kind of big deal, but anyone currently using Outlook on an older version of Androd is doing so because it works for them. They're not getting updates on their old, unsupported version of Android either, and haven't been for years, but they keep using it because they don't care (or likely don't even know) about updates. I think it's a relatively small percentage of users who even pay attention to what version of software they're using. I just recently bought a new cell phone because my old one quit working. I went from Android 8 (and whatever version of Outlook that was on it) to Android 11 (and whatever version of Outlook is on it), and quite honestly, I've can't really seen anything different from one version to the next (other than different wallpapers and ringtones), because I don't use most of the features that Android and Outlook apparently have. I'd bet most people are like me, will keep using what they're using until it stops working, and won't know or care that they're not getting updates.

  6. sandeepm

    If it worked properly on Android 11, that would be good enough. They don't know how to implement proper context switching between Intune managed accounts and personal accounts like Hotmail

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