Google recently announced several important (for developers) changes to the Google Play store application submission process to require new apps to target recent Android API releases and provide for additional security for app users. Developers have known for a long time that they needed to support multiple versions of Android OS releases. Having to support a wide range of operating system features and devices, results in more development effort by Android developers. Apple has required much stricter app store requirements in the past and iOS device users overwhelmingly use the most recent versions of iOS. Google’s announcement will definitely help Android developers and users.
- In early 2018, Google Play will start adding a small amount of security metadata on top of each APK to further verify app authenticity. This will happen automatically for developers who submit new apps and updates.
- In the second half of 2018, developers will have to target a recent Android API level for new and updated apps. According to the announcement: “This is to ensure apps are built on the latest APIs optimized for security and performance.”
- In August 2019, new apps and app updates with native libraries will have to provide 64-bit versions and 32-bit versions.
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David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation