Android apps must have 64-bit support by August 2019: Google

22 December, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Google to require apps to target recent Android versions 64-bit

New apps released in August 2018 and later will need to be specifically optimized for Android 8.0 Oreo, and the same goes for updates to existing apps from November of next year. Google describes the metadata as a "Play badge of authenticity" it will stick to each app.

As for the 64-bit app versions, it has been mentioned that, "In August 2019, Play will require that new apps and app updates with native libraries provide 64-bit versions in addition to their 32-bit versions".

Lastly, Google will be adding security metadata to all apps on the Play Store early next year, although developers won't need to do anything for that change. This is one of three measures Google is taking to improve app security and performance "to ensure everyone has a positive experience".

Right now, a developer can upload an app targeted towards an old version of Android and not ask for permission to see things like camera data or location when you first run it because those became official with Android Marshmallow (API 23). Google also made the jump to 64-bit app support in 2014 with the arrival of Android Lollipop.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated to include Google's clarification in its blog that the company will continue to support 32-bit Android applications and devices. In fact, the Cupertino giant kept its word by dropping support for 32-bit apps with the launch of iOS 11. But the service was intimately tied with the Shield TV's firmware, so it never popped up in the Google Play Store. This means, developers will need to submit apps that are 64-bit.

Google has now laid out clear guidelines for all developers who want to make apps for the Play Store moving forward. Developers will not have to take any action for this to be implemented to their apps.

The very open and free nature of the Android ecosystem has proven both a blessing and a curse for the world's most popular mobile platform, leading to a largely praised hardware diversity but also oft-criticized software fragmentation and weak overall security against some pretty basic threats.



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