Google to start imposing the latest Android features on app devs in 2018, or else...


Google took to the airwaves to announce a few massive changes in the way it will treat Android app developers going forward. While it reneged on the requirement to block them from using Android's accessibility features for inventive apps like LastPass, for instance, it is pressing forward on another, no less important front. 

Starting from 2018, it will try and force developers to update their apps to the newest application programming interfaces for Android that Google has provided, or else. In August 2018, all devs will have a year to bring their creations to the API 26 level, which is the latest Android 8.0 Oreo one, with the respective background processes restrictions that will be most gentle on your battery. Currently, Facebook targets the two-year old API 23, while Snapchat guns for a three-year old API 22, so that they can escape the always-on and permission restrictions that Google introduced with the newer APIs. 

This takes a toll on your battery life when you run Facebook, and allows Snapchat to dig everywhere for contacts, but apparently Google is fed up with the practice, and will try to bring devs up to speed. If they don't target the latest API within the given timeframe, Google will simply leave their apps to languish in the Play Store without the ability to be updated, which would essentially be a death knell for any popular developer. When the carrot in the form of new features brought on by new APIs doesn't work, the stick will probably do it.

source: Google via ArsTechnica

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10 Comments

1. daniyal_05

Posts: 93; Member since: Nov 15, 2017

IphoneX is not selling that well i think...

2. Nopers unregistered

Not exactly related to this story.

5. PhoenixFirebird

Posts: 122; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Relax bro. It's selling better in my country than others.

6. mikehunta727 unregistered

Its the best selling smartphone in the world right now, I think its doing just fine

3. pixel_ftw

Posts: 83; Member since: Jun 19, 2017

Google is taking good steps. Good job google.

4. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1318; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

This is one thing that Apple does that I'm glad Google is now copying.

7. TMHKR

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

Does it mean these apps will no longer work on older Android versions?

9. Skizzo

Posts: 403; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

I don't think they intend to make apps not work on any Android version before Oreo, just to make it mandatory for apps to keep up to date with all the security features brought forth by each new Android update. For example, if you are stuck on Android 6.0.1 (or older), then all current apps that work now should continue to run with all features allowed by that version of the operating system, but may not have all patches or security updates targeted at newer versions. This is just to make sure that app developers are using and and staying up to date with security guidelines set by the newest versions of the operating system.

10. gotoAndDie

Posts: 82; Member since: Jun 13, 2015

No, they'll work just as well on older Android versions. The backwards-compatibility of the apps are determined by the Minimum SDK version, while how many new features/standards you implement is determined by the Target SDK version. Google is restricting the Target SDK versions of new apps so they conform to newer standards of security and stuff.

8. gdawilson

Posts: 299; Member since: Jul 21, 2014

Thank you Google! Maybe I'll finally install the Facebook app if they change it to API 26!

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