Google prepares Android developers for changes in 2018

Google prepares Android developers for changes in 2018

Starting in the second half of 2018, Android apps on the Google Play store will be required to target a “recent” Android API level and meet other new, additional requirements Google announced yesterday.

“Google Play powers billions of app installs and updates annually,” Edward Cunningham, product manager at Android wrote in a post. “We relentlessly focus on security and performance to ensure everyone has a positive experience discovering and installing apps and games they love. Today we’re giving Android developers a heads-up about three changes designed to support these goals, as well as explaining the reasons for each change, and how they will help make Android devices even more secure and performant for the long term.”

Early in the coming year, Play will begin adding “a small amount of security metadata” to each APK submitted for further authentication, and will require no effort on the part of the developer. Then come August, Play will require all newly submitted apps to target Android API level 26 (Android 8.0) or higher, and November will bring the same requirement to updates of existing apps. This minimum API level will increase “within one year following each Android dessert release” from then on.

“This is to ensure apps are built on the latest APIs optimized for security and performance,” Cunningham wrote.

One year later, in August 2019, new apps and updates will be required to be submitted with both 64-bit and 32-bit binaries.

“We deeply appreciate our developer ecosystem, and so hope this long advance notice is helpful in planning your app releases,” Cunningham wrote. “We will continue to provide reminders and share developer resources as key dates approach to help you prepare.”

More information can be found in Cunningham’s blog post.

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