Google took to the airwaves to announce a few massive changes in the way it will treat Android app developers going forward. While it reneged on the requirement to block them from using Android’s accessibility features
for inventive apps like LastPass
, for instance, it is pressing forward on another, no less important front.
Starting from 2018, it will try and force developers to update their apps to the newest application programming interfaces for Android that Google has provided, or else. In August 2018, all devs will have a year to bring their creations to the API 26 level, which is the latest Android 8.0 Oreo one, with the respective background processes restrictions that will be most gentle on your battery. Currently, Facebook targets the two-year old API 23, while Snapchat guns for a three-year old API 22, so that they can escape the always-on and permission restrictions that Google introduced with the newer APIs.
This takes a toll on your battery life when you run Facebook, and allows Snapchat to dig everywhere for contacts, but apparently Google is fed up with the practice, and will try to bring devs up to speed. If they don’t target the latest API within the given timeframe, Google will simply leave their apps to languish in the Play Store without the ability to be updated, which would essentially be a death knell for any popular developer. When the carrot in the form of new features brought on by new APIs doesn’t work, the stick will probably do it.