Discontinuing support for mobile browsers that don’t support authentication cookies

Beginning May 1, 2012, we're ending our support for the small percentage of mobile browsers that can't use cookies. This update will affect only older generation mobile browsers, primarily based in Japan, that don't support authentication cookies for signing in to Google services. Most mobile phones will not be affected.

What's changing?

When signing in to a Google service (like Gmail), after you provide your username and password, your mobile browser receives an authentication token. This allows you to access Gmail, Google Calendar, and other Google services without having to sign in everytime. Authentication tokens are typically stored in the form of a cookie. A few older mobile browsers don't support cookies, and so we temporarily retained a legacy mechanism for authentication.

In order to focus on new feature development, we're ending this legacy mechanism. Beginning May 1, 2012, we will support only mobile browsers that are able to use cookies. On these legacy mobile browsers, you can continue to use other Google services that don't require user login, such as Search and Maps.

How do I know if my mobile browser is affected?

If you're using an older mobile browser that doesn't support authentication cookies, you'll see an alert when you try to sign in to your Google Account or Google Apps account.

If you have an unsupported mobile browser, we suggest you check the mobile browser requirements for Gmail to find a compatible device. We are working to provide the best experience with Google products using the technologies provided by modern mobile browsers.

FAQ

What is an authentication cookie?
A cookie is a small piece of text sent to your browser by a website you visit. When you sign in to your Google Account or Google Apps account to access Gmail or Google Calendar, Google sends your browser an authentication cookie. When your browser stores this temporary cookie, it keeps you signed in and allows you to access other Google services (like Gmail, Calendar, and Google+) in the same browser without having to type in your username and password each time. For more information about cookies, see 20 Things I Learned.
Will my smartphone be affected by this?
Most smartphones come with modern browsers that allow cookies. Most smartphones like Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone shouldn't be affected by this change.

Check with your mobile phone provider to see if the browser on your mobile device can handle cookies. If you disable cookies on your mobile browser, it won't be able to store the authentication cookie, and you won't be able to sign in to Google. For more information, see Browser's cookie functionality turned off.
What alternatives do users with cookieless browsers have, such as some NTT docomo customers in Japan?
You can still access Gmail and Google Calendar from a web browser on your computer. If possible, we recommend you download a modern browser onto your mobile device. Users who only have cookieless browsers will not be able to sign in to Google products like Gmail or Google Calendar starting May 1, 2012.