Google, in a bid to improve app security and performance on Google Play, has announced a number of new policies for Android developers. Coming into effect throughout next year and 2019, these policies will only allow 64-bit apps in the Play store.
“For apps that use native libraries, 64-bit code typically offers significantly better performance, with additional registers and new instructions,” explained the company on the Android Developers Blog.
The company says it’s taking the step in anticipation of future Android that support only 64-bit applications. If are one of the developer and your app has a 32-bit library, you’ll need to add a 64-bit alternative too, before November 2018.
Target API level requirement
According to the Google’s blog-post, the Google Play Console will require new apps and updates to target a recent API level, starting from late 2018.
August 2018: New apps required to target API level 26 – Android 8.0 Oreo – or higher.
November 2018: All the existing apps required to target API level 26 or higher.
Year 2019 and onwards: Each year the targetSdkVersion will advance and developers will be required to achieve that. New apps and the existing app updates will need to target the corresponding API level or higher within one year of each dessert release.
The new Google Play Store road-map is a very important step in order to ensure best user’s experience and this should also make developers to add the latest features and security enhancements to their apps.
Future Android versions will also restrict apps that don’t target the required API level. Google says that it wants to “proactively reduce fragmentation in the app ecosystem.”
As for the 64-bit support – starting from August 2019 – the Play Console will require apps to run without the need of 32-bit support, which should result in “significantly better performance, with additional registers and new instructions,” Google states.