Published: Wed, December 20, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

YouTube Go hits 10 million downloads even though it's not available worldwide

Google notes that besides security, "this metadata will enable new distribution opportunities for developers in the future and help more people keep their apps up to date".

Android has supported 64-bit apps ever since Lollipop arrived in 2015, but they haven't been necessary.

In an effort to ensure a higher degree of security and performance among Android apps, Google noted today that it will only allow 64-bit apps in the Play store starting in August 2019. Updated apps will have to make the advancement in November.

"For apps that use native libraries, 64-bit code typically offers significantly better performance, with additional registers and new instructions", explained the company on the Android Developers Blog.

Google has started giving app developers a heads-up notice on making 64-bit app version mandatory on Google Play by 2019.

Beginning in early 2018, Google will automatically insert security metadata in each APK to verify that it was officially distributed by Google Play.

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). Even after the final version of the app was released in the Google Play Store, YouTube Go wasn't made available worldwide and it still can't be downloaded in most countries. The search gaint has been working hard on improving the Google Play experience for Android users. These requirements will advance each year so apps in August 2019 will need to target the next version of Android. Apps designed for old software don't make use of Android's newer features and are less secure because of it. Look at the state of tablet apps on Google Play as an example here.

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