Some of the older Android phones will not support secure websites by September 2021
Issues with Android update policies will make much of the secure web inaccessible to those with older devices.
If you are using an older Android phone, you might have to upgrade it soon if you want to visit secure websites. According to an Android Police report, Certificate Authority Let's Encrypt has warned that phones running Android versions before 7.1.1 Nougat will not trust its root certificate starting 2021. This will lock these older phones out of many secure websites.
The organisation is going to prevent default cross-signing for the certificate that allows this functionality on January 11 next year and will drop the cross-signing partnership entirely by September 1.
A partial workaround is possible if you install Firefox since Mozilla is a partner in Let's Encrypt and uses its own certificate store. But that will not help with rival clients or with functionality beyond browsers.
It is not uncommon for developers to end support for older operating systems, however, this might become a sore point for Android's update policies, writes Endgadget. Let's Encrypt mentioned that about 33.8% of Android users on Google Play run a version older than 7.1 and some of the hardware vendors cut off support early.
Also Read: Chrome for Android gets another zero-day vulnerability fix
Also, it is not uncommon for Android vendors to offer relatively few updates and some devices, mainly budget phones might even be stuck with the OS they were shipped with. So, you may have bought a phone in 2016 or even 2017 that could now abruptly lose access to some websites, at least without workarounds.
However, the situation is improving. Samsung and other Android makers are committing to at least three years of OS updates. But that won't change the reality for many people who have older phones, and there may be very few alternate recourses if you can't or won't use Firefox.
Though many other sites will keep working, the inconsistent support across other websites could be a hassle at the least and a major obstacle at worst.
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