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Google Play Store has updated its guidelines for Android app developers to improve app security and performance. Coming into effect from August 2018, all apps submitted to the Play Store will be required to target API level 26 (for Android 8.0 Oreo) or higher.
In addition, from August 2018, updates to the already existing apps will have to target the same. What's more, from August 2019 onwards, Play Store will no longer offer support for 32-bit applications. This means, developers will need to submit apps that are 64-bit. While this decision may come as a surprise, Google is at least giving almost two years to developers and users to get used to the change.
So basically, after August 2019, 32-bits will become obsolete. As per Google, currently more than 40 percent of Android-powered devices have 64-bit support. It is worth mentioning that Apple dropped the support for 32-bit apps with the arrival of iOS 11, which is compatible with 64-bit applications.
Other than that, from next year beginning, Google Play Store will start to add a small amount of security metadata on top of each app's APK. This will be done to verify the authenticity of the apps. However, neither users nor developers need to worry about that since it will be done automatically from Google's side.
All these changes should concern the manufacturers that do not update their smartphones on regular basis. Unless the devices are updated on time, they will not be able to gain access to new and updates apps.
Google believes that these changes will make the applications of Play Store more secure than ever. Not only this, they are also expected to improve the performance and stability of the apps.
The search engine giant is apparently trying its best to make the Play Store as secure as Apple' App Store.