Google’s new App Developer rules – pro and cons

Well Google will change some rules at the end of 2018 for the Play Store. The main rule – at least for me and my children apps – is that new apps (and updated ones) have to target at least the API version below the new one.

I see this as mixed blessings.


  • If this comes with lower rating of unchanged and older “leftover” apps in the store, I – as a user of Android devices – see an advantage finding more up-to-date apps. There’s the needle-in-a-haystack search in the Play Store right now to find a good app.


  • Google has put an increasing amount of limitations for apps that use internal Alarms, and are more and more restrictive for background use (Timer, Alarm… yeah, what my apps use)
  • APIs may change their function (yes!) when an API target version is changed in the build system, so if some (optimistically: documented) side-effects are overlooked, the functionality breaks like that timers become unreliable, or do not appear at all. Yes, I had my share…
  • this may also discourage some developers from updating older apps if it becomes too much work to support API changes with each passing year.