Google prepares Android developers for changes in 2018

Android

Android Marshmallow added granular permissions management that allowed users to see which permissions an app was using, and to accept or deny it those permissions.

Having no Android TV, or more importantly Chromecast support has been a consumer unfriendly move by Amazon basically trying to push their Fire TV hardware onto users to get access to the service.

"This is to ensure apps are built on the latest APIs optimized for security and performance", Cunningham wrote. The blogpost adds that over 40 per cent of Android devices which coming online now have 64-bit support, while still maintaining 32-bit compatibility. The target API level is technically defined as the version of the operating system an app was tested to work with; but in more practical terms, it's used to define a set of behaviors an app expects from the operating system. Apps declare an API level to tell devices which API features they support. They've given some simple examples that explain just how these changes will help here.

The second major change is the fact that developers will be required to bundle native 64-bit libraries for new apps as well as updated apps, starting from August 2019. New apps will have to meet this requirement in August 2018 and existing apps will have to do this from November 2018.

Developers now have to follow new rules to keep on publishing apps on the Play Store.

The reason why Play Services is making headlines today is because it received a new APK. When the restriction goes into effect, it will apply both to new apps, and existing ones that are updated. Since there are more Android smartphone users than any other user base on the planet, these digital cards are going to be flawless.

App developers are still free to support older Android versions by setting the minimum SDK version, or ignore 64-bit. After its rollout it is estimated that nearly 60% of Android devices will have Google Assistant. By August 2019, all apps will be required to provide a 64-bit variant regardless if they target older versions of Android. This can result in much better performance.

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