Android Oreo Beta for the Samsung Galaxy S8 Adds App Permission Monitor

From November next year, new updates to existing apps also need to target Oreo.

For better or worse, Google has always had a light touch approach to which apps are allowed on its Play Store.

Google Play Store is adding some new rules and guidelines for app developers, which includes making 64-bit support mandatory from 2019 onward. This is one of three measures Google is taking to improve app security and performance "to ensure everyone has a positive experience".

Older versions of Android used to grant carte blanche permissions to every new app installed on a user's device.

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. Google will be the one to do this, so developers do not need to do anything to implement this change.

In the second half of 2018, Play will require that new apps and app updates target a recent Android API level. In fact, the Cupertino giant kept its word by dropping support for 32-bit apps with the launch of iOS 11.

Whether it was Amazon's decision to pull the sale of Google products from its online store, or Google moving to drop YouTube support for the Echo Show, twice (and later threaten its removal from Fire TV devices), each twist and turn has resulted in less choice for the end-user. Unless the devices are updated on time, they will not be able to gain access to new and updates apps. Google is lighting a fire under devs to make sure future app releases are as safe and efficient as possible. Play Services is also responsible for storing valuable user information such as account passwords, private themes and so on. The virtual assistant ran with Android Marshmallow or above, that is until now. In addition, starting early next year there will be some extra metadata added to APK files to verify their authenticity. After that, though, 32-bit apps are going the way of the dinosaurs.

Google says these changes are to help make the apps we use as secure as Android itself.

  • Joey Payne