Starting September 2021, older Android phones will be unable to access a large number of secure websites (websites that use HTTPS).
The issue affects phones running on versions of Android prior to Nougat 7.1.1, which make up about 33.8 percent of Android users.
In a report by Android Police, these older Android devices will no longer trust certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt starting September 1, 2021. Let’s Encrypt is one of the world’s leading certificate authorities used by approximately 30% of all web sites.
To put in perspective on how popular Let’s Encrypt is, we and many other websites in the local tech scene use their SLL certificates for HTTPS. One, because its free, and two, its commonly bundled with many hosting services.
When this takes effect next year, what will happen is that older Android phones that visit websites that use Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates will either start getting certificate errors or the page will not load at all.
According to Let’s Encrypt, there are lots of Android devices in the world running on out-of-date operating systems, which complicates the matter. Currently, 66.2 percent of Android phones are running on version 7.1 and above. That means 33.8 percent will be affected.
There are workarounds for this. Apart from buying a new smartphone, users of older Android devices can install the Firefox browser. Firefox Mobile uses its own certificates, which means users will have no issues viewing any website.
Google Chrome, on the other hand, does not support this yet. But it is believed that Google will, at some point in the next months, have something similar setup before September 2021.
Source, Image from Unsplash