Google Maps Platform OS and software support

Mobile OS version support policy

As mobile operating systems evolve, and as we roll out Google Maps Platform features and updates, we will begin regularly freezing support for older mobile OS versions and setting a new minimum supported OS version on a predictable schedule. This alignment is important for a number of reasons:

  • Freezing OS support on a predictable schedule helps developers plan their app updates ahead of OS support end dates, and lets them know how long older versions of their apps will be supported, and on which devices.
  • Freezing Google Maps Platform SDK version support to specific Android and iOS versions helps Google scope and scale its SDK testing.

This section describes the Google Maps Platform support policy for mobile platforms. This policy covers only Generally Available (GA) products.

OS support freezes are not considered "Significant Deprecations" as defined in the Google Maps Platform Terms of Service.

Terminology

Android OS support policy

New releases of Google Maps Platform SDKs for Android will support an Android OS version (API Level such as 29 and 30) for 6 years after initial major release.

For example, for an Android version released in 2020, new releases of the Places SDK for Android will support that version until 2026. Or, from a reversed time perspective, when Android released an OS in 2020, Google Maps Platform would support OS versions released as far back as 2014. This reversed time perspective is more helpful in understanding the following details of our support policy.

In the third quarter of each year:

  • Google will freeze support on the Android OS version that is 6 years old, making the one-newer version the minimum supported OS version in new releases of SDKs for Android.

    For example, in the third quarter of 2022, around the typical time of a new Android release, Google will freeze support of Android 7 (API Level 25, released 2016), making Android 8 (API Level 26) the minimum supported OS in new versions of Google Maps Platform SDKs for Android. The last SDK version released before this point will be the last supporting version of Android API Level 25.

  • As a consequence, app developers will need to decide whether to raise the minimum supported OS for new versions of their app and specify build dependency versions accordingly.

    Continuing the example above, app versions built with older versions of the SDK will continue to run on devices running Android 7, and app versions built with versions of the SDK released after this point will not be able to run on devices running Android 7. Once the app's build dependency is upgraded to the new version of the SDK, users will have to upgrade their devices to Android 8 (API Level 26) or above to be able to run new versions of the app.

The exception to the OS version freeze schedule is Maps SDK for Android, which is delivered as part of Google Play services.

Maps SDK for Android

Maps SDK for Android falls outside of this OS version support policy. The Maps SDK for Android runtime is included as part of Google Play services (also known as "Google Mobile Services" or "GMS Core"), which is required for running Google apps on Android devices. Because Google Play services follows its own Android API Level support schedule (as illustrated by this announcement), the support schedule for Maps SDK for Android is dependent on Google Play services OS support. For information on which Android API versions Google Play services runs on, see Google Play services setup.

However, the Maps SDK for Android client library (API facade) that works with the maps runtime on Google Play services is versioned and supported on specific Android API Levels. When building apps with Maps SDK for Android, developers set the client library version as a dependency.

Google recommends using the latest com.google.android.gms.play-services-maps client library, which ensures that the newest Google Maps Platform features and functionality will be available in your app, on devices running the latest version of Google Play services.

If an app is using a newer version of the client library but is being run on a device with an older version of Google Play services, any newer features being called simply won't operate on those devices. No app crashes or exceptions occur.

For more information about Android releases, see the Android SDK platform releases.

iOS support policy

New releases of Google Maps Platform SDKs for iOS will support an iOS version for at least 3 years after its initial major release.

For example, for a major iOS version released in the third quarter of 2020, Google Maps Platform will support that version through 2023.

To further illustrate:

  • Google will regularly freeze support for the iOS version that had its initial major release more than 3 years ago, making the one-newer version the minimum supported OS version.

    For example, in the second quarter of 2022, Google freezes support of iOS 12 (initially released September 2018), making iOS 13 the minimum supported OS in new versions of Google Maps Platform SDKs for iOS. The last SDK version released before this point will be the last supporting version for iOS 12.

  • As a consequence, app developers will need to decide whether to raise the minimum supported OS for new versions of their app and specify build dependency versions accordingly.

    Continuing the example above, app versions built with older versions of the SDK will continue to run on devices running iOS 12, and app versions built with versions of the SDK released after this point will not be able to run on devices running iOS 12. Once the app's build dependency is upgraded to the new version of the SDK, users will have to upgrade their devices to iOS 13 or above to be able to run new versions of the app.

SDK support

When Google releases a new version of a Google Maps Platform mobile SDK:

  • Google has tested this version against OS versions back to the stated minimum supported OS version.
  • Future SDK fixes within 12 months after this version's initial major release will be backward-compatible with this version.
  • Beyond 12 months after this version's initial major release date, SDK fixes may not be backward-compatible with this version.
  • Google will fix backend issues caused by Google Maps Platform services until the SDK version is decommissioned.

IDE support

Google Maps Platform SDKs for iOS are compatible with development for iOS in Apple's integrated development environment Xcode. Different versions of Xcode include different versions of the Swift programming language as well as SDKs for different versions of Apple operating systems.

Google periodically raises the minimum version of Xcode supported in new major versions of Google Maps Platform SDKs for iOS. Check release notes and supported software topics to see the minimum supported version of Xcode for the version of the SDK that you wish to build with.

Browser support

The Maps JavaScript API and Maps Embed API support the following web browsers:

Desktop
  • The current version of Microsoft Edge (Windows)
  • The current and previous versions of Firefox (Windows, macOS, Linux)
  • The current and previous versions of Chrome (Windows, macOS, Linux)
  • The current and previous versions of Safari (macOS)

Beginning in August 2021, a warning message will appear to Internet Explorer 11 users at the top of maps. The last version of the Maps JavaScript API to support Internet Explorer 11 is v3.47. Support for Internet Explorer 11 will be entirely discontinued in August 2022. This also applies to the IE mode in Edge.

Android
  • The current version of Chrome on Android 4.1+.
  • Chrome WebView on Android 4.4+.
iOS
  • Mobile Safari on the current and previous major versions of iOS.
  • UIWebView and WKWebView on the current and previous major versions of iOS.
  • The current version of Chrome for iOS.