Major Changes Announced by Google with respect to Android App Development

All the Android App Developers, it's time to brush up your skills! Google has recently announced major changes related to android app development.

Major Changes Announced by Google with respect to Android App Development

All those changes will come into effect in 2018 and 2019. To remain up-to-date in regards to Android app development, keep on reading further.

All these changes are taking place with only one intention in mind – to increase the robustness of the app security and improve the performance of the mobile applications. Google Play powers billions of app installation and updates throughout the year. This is to ensure that everyone has a positive experience discovering and installing apps and games they love.

Android app development

App security has always been the paramount requisites that the end users demand and nobody would like to compromise on that front. To address these issues, three changes have been announced to make Android devices even more secure and performance for the long term.

  • Firstly, the importance of Android API Level will increase: In the second half of 2018, the developers will have to make sure that the new apps and app updates should be made in accordance with Android API level. It would come into effect in August 2018 for new apps and November 2018 for the upgrades. This will enhance the security and app performance.
  • Secondly, Apps to be built on 64-Bit versions: This change will come into effect from August 2019, but the app developers need to make sure that their apps are built on the 64-bit version instead of the 32-bit version.
  • Lastly, Google will add some security metadata on the top of APK: During the first half of 2018, the same shall be implemented. This will further strengthen the authenticity of the app during the verification process.

Our highly skilled team of agile android app developers are thoroughly acquainted with the aforementioned points and will apply the same when they create apps in the near future. The essential updates will be required whilst launching a new app or updating the older one.

Importance of Android API Level will Increase – The API levels play a vital role in augmenting the security and privacy protections. So, Google has planned to bring about an advancement into it by assisting developers to make secured mobile apps. This would come into effect in the latter part of the year 2018 or in the starting of 2019. The will help developers secure their apps and protect people from malware attacks.

Few such changes from recent platform versions include: Implicit intents for bindService() no longer supported (Android 5.0), Runtime permissions (Android 6.0), User-added CAs not trusted by default for secure connections (Android 7.0), and Apps can’t access user accounts without explicit user approval (Android 8.0).

Till August 2018, the new apps will have to get accustomed to API level 26 and the same actions will have to be followed for updates in November 2018. From 2019 onwards, the target SDK version will go advance. Hence, app developers will have to target the existing or the latest API levels accordingly.

Google has clearly stated that those apps that do not receive any update modification will not undergo any impact. The developers have been given the option to choose their own minSdkVersion so that they don’t have to change Android app development process. Further, those apps that fail to abide by the API levels will not be released or updated and shall remain restricted.

Green Flag to Built 64-Bit Version – The android app developers have received the green signal from Google to offer the 64-bit version for supporting the applications. However, the same will come into effect from August 2019 onwards. The 64-bit architectures were introduced in Android 5.0. Today, over 40% of Android devices coming online have 64-bit support, the remaining still maintains 32-bit compatibility.

The motto is clear: To offer uncompromised security and app performance. Google wants all its apps to run seamlessly on the 64-bit version in addition to the 32-bit version compatibility.

The Play Console will require that new apps and app updates provide 64-bit versions in addition to their 32-bit versions. This also does not mean that 32-bit support will be removed permanently. No, Google Play will continue to support 32-bit apps and devices.

Although this will come into effect in 2019 yet advance notification has been issued so that developers have ample of time to plan the transition.

Security Metadata in Early 2018 – The last announcement will be the first that will be implemented in early 2018. Google is planning to add security metadata on the top of each APK just to check that the distribution has been done by Google Play and no one else. The metadata will be automatically added to APKs just like a Play badge to identify authenticity for your Android app.

In this update, no action is required on the part of developers or users. Google will simply increase the size of the APK to add small metadata and thereafter it will be inserted into the APK Singing Block. This metadata will enable new distribution opportunities for developers in the future and help more people keep their apps up to date.

Conclusion

With each passing day, Android apps are increasing in number, therefore it becomes vital on the part of Google to provide utmost security to its users with unmatched performance. Security is by far the most important issue because Android’s main competitor Apple has already won the competition on the security factor.

It’s high time that the Android app developers gather information on the announcements and remain upgraded so that they can implement the changes in their Android app development process.

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