At the Google I/O Event held in May 2018, Google advised all developers to update to the latest Android APIs by August 1, 2018. Google has instructed that all the new Android apps on Google Play should target API Level 26 (Android Oreo) in order to be published.
The main reason for this strict decision is Google’s focus on security updates. Google plans to introduce Project Treble in Android 7, making it easier for mobile phone manufacturers to release Android OS updates to the devices. Google is working hard on backward compatibility and support APIs; however it is very important to target latest APIs to fully utilize the new features and backward compatibility support.
Google’s roadmap for the new Android updates
All Google wants the users to do is update all new and existing Android apps immediately. Here’s Google’s plan for users to ensure which apps to update and when.
Things to do in August 2018
All the new apps are required to target API level 26 (Android Oreo 8.0) or higher. This means all the new apps that are not yet uploaded on Google Play (including the alpha and beta apps as well.)
In November 2018
The updates to the existing apps–available on Google–are required to target API level 26 (Android Oreo 8.0) or higher. Please note here that existing apps which are not providing any updates are unaffected and will continue to work in a normal manner. Only the updates to those apps are required to target the latest APIs.
Google mentions that each year the targetSdkVersion requirement will advance to the new level. And all the new apps and existing apps will need to target the corresponding API level or higher within one year of time.
Developers can freely use a minSdkVersion of their choice. This means, there is no change to one’s ability to build apps for older Android versions. Google encourages developers to provide backward compatibility as far as reasonably possible.
The updating process
It is a very easy procedure per Google. There are some APIs which have been updated or removed in the latest API level. If any app is using those, then one will have to update the code accordingly. Following are some changes specified from recent platform versions:
- Implicit intents for bindService() no longer supported (Android 5.0)
- Runtime permissions (Android 6.0)
- User-added CAs not trusted by default for secure connections (Android 7.0)
- Apps can’t access user accounts without explicit user approval (Android 8.0)
Know more about this update process by watching a Google IO 2018 session on ‘Migrate your existing app to target Android Oreo and above’ given below