Confused Google Announcements Regarding Retirement of Google+ Apps?

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I’m a heavy user of Google+. I’ve never been a Facebook user, and I’ve been on Google+ since the first day of beta availability back in 2011. So naturally many G+ users contact me when they have relevant concerns.

I’m now getting emails and other messages from concerned, alarmed, and possibly confused G+ users — and I’m seeing public posts and articles that may be similarly confused — about a series of emailed warnings that G is sending out about G+ apps. I’ve also received those emailed warnings from Google directly. There’s a lot of chatter that these messages are signaling a step toward killing off G+ (which given recent updates to G+ overall, seems unlikely to me at this time). The relevant portion of the emails is worded like this:

Effective May 20, 2018, Google+ for Android version 7.5 and older and Google+ for iOS version 5.0 and older will no longer work. Note that if you chose to have the photo backup setting enabled in Google+, your photos will no longer be backed up.

Many people are assuming that this means the G+ app will stop working for Android versions 7.5 and below. But this doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ve never even seen an Android version 7.5 system. And as of February this year, the breakdown of Android usage is reportedly around 81.2% for Android versions 5.0->7.1.x.

I’ve personally been assuming that these messages actually are referring to old versions of the G+ app, not of Android versions, but the wording is definitely unclear. I can’t believe that G actually would kill the G+ app for the vast majority of Android users.

There’s definitely growing public confusion about this, and clarification from Google — one way or another — would be greatly appreciated.

–Lauren–