News for Android Developers: Google Revises App Development Guidelines
Learn about the updated Android app development guidelines recently issued by Google to ensure that your apps meet security and performance standards.
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In an attempt to improve Android apps' security and overall performance, Google has come up with revised Android app development guidelines. Home to 3.5 million apps, the Google Play Store now takes a step further for protecting apps to account for better customer experience.
Android app development companies and dedicated Android developers are trying to understand the revised guidelines issued by Google. Let’s learn about it in detail:
3 Updates From Google for Android Developers
Android developers need to update themselves with 3 major changes from Google that support their future goals:
From the second half of 2018, new apps, as well as existing apps, will need to update as per recent API level. With this mandate, Google plans to revise all apps on its Play Store to come on the same lines. This rule is supposed to apply to new apps from August 2018 and existing apps from November 2018.
The Google Play Store expects all apps to update with native libraries and 64-bit versions by August 2019.
2018 will see the addition of security metadata to the existing APK to improvise privacy and authenticity of each app. Developers need not worry about this change.
Google Tries to Synchronize Android Development Ecosystem
Google is looking to help and simplify the work of the Android developers who create the entire ecosystem of apps. The recent three updates from Google come along the same lines that allow Android developers to plan their future app releases conveniently
Google wants all developers to be updated on the revised rules and norms. As a result, the company will issue a series of announcements as a reminder to developers. The announcement of the revised guidelines gives a good amount of time for developers to update themselves on the new rules and develop new apps accordingly.
Effective Changes to Android Apps
As per the first change announced by the company, “the Google Play Console will require that apps target a recent API level.” This step ensures that developers build secure apps and avoid Android users falling prey to malware attacks. To be more specific, have a look at the detailed API guidelines below:
All new apps releasing from August 2018 or later need to target API level 26 (Android 8.0) or higher.
Existing app updates are required to target API level 26 or higher from November 2018.
targetSdkVersion would advance with each new release of the Android operating system. With this, new apps and existing app updates will need to target the corresponding level of API or higher.
Coming to the second announcement by Google, the company insists that new apps, as well as existing ones, use native libraries that provide a 64-bit version in addition to the 32-bit version. Support for 64-bit architecture was introduced with the release of Android 5.0, and as of now, 40% of Android smartphones come with this configuration. The release of a 64-bit version would account for delivering improved performance of apps.
Google Play Badge of Authenticity
A small amount of security metadata over an API will add to the authenticity of Android apps. Such metadata on top of each APK file is a symbol that it is officially distributed by Google. This is kind of an official label from Google to signify a product’s authenticity.
Android developers need not worry about the addition of this metadata as no action is needed from their side. Google will add the metadata into the APK Signing Block in a way that it does not hamper the functionality of app.
Google sets high goals for Android developers in the year 2018 with revised guidelines. Developers can expect much more in the year 2018 in terms of growth in the Play Store. All the announcements are aimed towards making Google Play Store home to more secure, reliable, and trustworthy apps that offer good user experience. Developers can expect more revisions and additions in the future event of Google I/O 2018.
Published at DZone with permission of Calvin Austins. See the original article here.
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