Google Android Announcement: Improving app security and performance on Google Play for years to come

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.

The recent Google announcement of new Play store requirements includes:
  • 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.

iOS and Android OS Use Dashboards

Both Apple and Google provide OS version use dashboards. Looking at the recent data, Apple reports that 92% of iOS users run iOS version 10 and later (As measured by the App Store on December 4, 2017). Looking at the Android dashboard shows that a similar percentage, 92.7% are spread across KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat (Data collected during a 7-day period ending on December 11, 2017).
You can find the Apple iOS and Google Android dashboards at:


Which iOS and Android OS platform versions do you support in your development?

Post a comment or send me an email and tell me about which mobile OS platform versions you are currently supporting for iOS and Android. You can also submit blog posts to write for DevNet.

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David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99

1 thought on “Google Android Announcement: Improving app security and performance on Google Play for years to come”

  1. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the website is also very good.

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