You might want to buy a new phone this year, since Androids running versions before 7.1.1 Nougat might get locked out of the web in 2021.
If you’re using an older Android phone, you might want to get a new one. A new report said Saturday that older Androids might get locked out of the secured web starting next year. Your phone could get cut out of the web if it runs an Android version before 7.1.1 Nougat.
Old Android Phones
The website Android Police reported the news. According to the report, older Android phones would no longer load websites by 2021. The nonprofit Let’s Encrypt said that its partnership with IdenTrust would expire on September 1, 2021.
When the deal expires, Let’s Encrypt will stop cross-signing IdenTrust’s root certificate called DST Root X3, starting on January 11. On that day, Let’s Encrypt will move on to its ISRG Root X1 root.
What Does This Let’s Encrypt Stuff Mean?
Gizmodo reports that one-third of the world’s web domains depend on Let’s Encrypt’s certificates. However, older software does not trust the group’s root certificate. This conflict would cause websites not to work on older phones.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) November 8, 2020
Moreover, some software didn’t get updates since 2016. This bunch of software does not trust the ISRG Root X1 certificate. Notably, Android phones running OS versions before 7.1.1 Nougat do not trust ISRG Root X1.
Should I Buy a New Phone?
If you don’t want to buy a new phone yet, you can install Firefox on mobile. The browser uses its certificate store that includes Let’s Encrypt’s program. However, some apps might still break or fail to function outside the browser.
According to Google’s data, roughly 34% of Android users run a version older than 7.1. This number means millions of users might get locked out of the secure web in 2021.