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.

Small YACO option to be done

I am a bit disappointed, I must say, of Samsung.

CyanogenMod had the feature for the “red filter” of the screen to make it dependent on sunrise/sunset times. Well Samsung adds this feature also – but as soon as I switch off GPS, the screen becomes blue again. Bloody dumb developers! It should be trivial to store the “last known” position easily. I am not going to travel far without being able to switch on GPS temporarily so that the filter can adjust.

Time to add a red filter to YACO…

Personal Sunrise and Spotify

I would have liked to integrate Spotify, but as I also include “other streams” for the alarm sound, so it is not allowed:

Spotify Developer Terms of Use

Section IV: Restrictions

Spotify Content Restrictions

  1. Integration with Third Party Services. You shall not create any product or service by integrating the Spotify Platform, Spotify Service, or Spotify Content with (i) any non-interactive internet webcasting service or (ii) with streams from another service.


The Android SDK is explicitly prohibited from use for in-car apps, re-streaming aka “listen together” apps, alarm tones, ring-tones, voice-assistants, and offline experiences for wearable or other devices.


Well then… no Spotify in the app.