All Android apps will be required to support 64-bit chipsets by August 2019. Android Apps can still run on 32-bit hardware, but this is in preparation for a 64-bit only future. Support for higher architecture was introduced in Android 5.0. More than 40% of devices today support 64-bit, as well as maintaining 32-bit compatibility. This should result in “significantly better performance, with additional registers and new instructions.”
Google announced two more changes to developer guidelines:
- Developers will soon have to start targeting recent Android API level. Future Android versions will also restrict apps that don’t target a recent API level and adversely impact performance or security. Google “want to proactively reduce fragmentation in the app ecosystem and ensure apps are secure and performant.”
- Google will automatically start adding a small amount of security metadata on top of each APK to further verify app authenticity. No action is required on the part of developers or end users. “metadata will enable new distribution opportunities for developers in the future and help more people keep their apps up to date. “
Target API level requirement
In late 2018, the Google Play Console will require that new apps and updates target a recent API level:
- August 2018: New apps required to target API level 26 (Android 8.0) or higher.
- November 2018: Updates to existing apps required to target API level 26 or higher.
- 2019 onwards: Each year the targetSdkVersion requirement will advance. Within one year following each Android dessert release, new apps and app updates will need to target the corresponding API level or higher.
They can still support old versions of Android. This is to ensure apps are built on the latest APIs optimized for security and performance.