Removing support for Android 8, 9 and 10

With any security-focussed app like Kee Vault we have to strike a balance between supporting as many users as possible and ensuring that we don’t enable bad security practices.

Google no longer issue security patches for Android 8, 9 and 10 which makes all users of devices with these versions of Android at increased risk of having their device compromised and all data within it (including Kee Vault) being exposed.

With that in mind, in a forthcoming release we will no longer allow installation of the latest version of Kee Vault 2 onto devices running Android 8 or 9.

As long as it does not hold back our support for Android 14 when it is released soon, we will try to keep the app working on devices running Android 10 for at least another year.

Please note that as well as potential security risks, there are also known bugs with some devices that run these old versions of Android. For example, a lot of Samsung devices that run Android 10 are susceptible to crashes relating to fingerprint authentication so you may see technical sounding error messages appear on those devices. Please feel free to share such error messages with us and we’ll do what we can to resolve them or offer workarounds but can’t promise a solution when the underlying fault is with your phone or Android version.

If you are running a device with Android 10 or lower, please consider installing an updated version of Android if possible, or begin the process of saving and planning for a new device in order to keep your personal information secure.

The “web app” version of Kee Vault (version 1) may continue to work on older devices but this is not guaranteed and the increased risk from a lack of security fixes for your device will remain.


So I guess is time to decomission my old smart phone…

I don’t like the idea of throwing away mobile phones that work perfectly fine just because the manufacturer stopped supporting them and no longer recevive new OS upgrades, so I’ve foundthis post in Reddit about how long different manufacturers give support to their “flagship” phones as a way of measuring it.

One comment says that Fairphone “security patches” for a fairly long time.

(…) your industry leading support promise will make sure it outlives most other phones: It’s backed with OS*, software and security updates until 2031.

(*We plan at least 5 Android OS version updates after Android 13)

I am considering a Fairphone or a OnePlus and still need to consider if It’s worth spending 600£ or 200£

Any advise?

I considered Fairphone a couple of years ago but they were too far behind technically compared to other manufacturers. Hopefully that has changed now so I’d definitely dig into their option in more detail if I were in the market for a new phone.

I had a OnePlus in the past and they went nearly a year without issuing a security patch for the device despite it being within their promised support period so I have no confidence in their ability to actually deliver on the promises summarised in that reddit table. I’m sure they have “learnt lessons” but combined with increased prices and the uncertainty around potential government interference with their hardware and software, I’m personally in no rush to reconsider them for future purchases.

In any case, I have found that for the last couple of years there are a growing number of manufacturers that promise security patches for longer than was possible in the Android 10 era and earlier so I hope that there will still be actively supported devices on Android 11+ for at least a few years.

The improving picture of Android security patch support is why we’re not considering a “regular” annual deprecation of old Android versions - hopefully it will be a few years before we next need to remove support for an old version.

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Holy crap, this is criminal and should be illegal!!

I was under the impression that Android 8.1 was plenty recent, and I have it running on a Moto x4 which could easily last me another 10 years. The fact that I have to throw my perfectly good phone in the trash because it’s no longer able to receive software security updates is insane!!

For anyone reading this, PLEASE contact your legislators and urge them to take action on this!

EDIT: By the way, that Fairphone 5 is currently showing $700 EUR for me. That’s quite costly.

Here is a template that I used to contact my reps:

Phones – planned obsolescence

I have a PLENTY recent/new phone (Moto x4) that would easily last me another 15+ years. I just learned that I will have to throw it in the trash because it’s running Android, and Google stopped publishing security updates for the Android versions it runs, and the phone manufacturer (Motorola) stopped releasing Android updates for the phone so I’m unable to update it to a newer, supported Android version.

This is criminal and should be illegal. This is FORCING me to participate in hyper-capitalism and contribute to the destruction and pollution of our planet despite my best efforts to avoid doing so.

I have decided to buy a cheap samsumg phone: Samsung Galaxy A24 4G price in US, UK for only 179.99£ on Amazon.

My requirements were these and from those results, the contestants where these.

My knowledge on Mobile phones tech is very shallow, but the Samsumg A24 seems to use more mothern CPU (6nm vs 12nm) and supports bluetooth 5.3.
I am not sure if the Super AMOLED display is better than IPS… and what bloatware will have preinstalled… I guess I will have to find out!

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