Google is enforcing strict rules which will compel Android app developers to bring updates for targetting Android versions 8.0 or higher.
All updates pushed to Google Play Store after November 1st this year must target the API level 26 at least. Developers not complying with it, won’t be able to roll out new updates until they fulfill this criterion (Via XDA-Developers) .
The fragmentation issue is quite prevalent among Android apps, and several developers choose not to optimize their apps to the latest Android version. Even if they do, it arrives months later.
The main reason behind it is the fact that it takes a long time for the latest Android version to reach phones. So app developers don’t consider it their top priority.
Consequently, apps end up behaving weirdly with issues like battery drainage, spam notifications, and use of unnecessary permissions without asking for users’ consent. If things turn worse, it also results in force closing or crashing of the app.
This is why Google has decided to draw a line which will force app creators to make their apps compatible with the latest Android version.
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It is worth noting that the company has given enough time to developers for updating their apps. The deadlines for targeting API 26 was announced way back in December last year. However, most of the app developers failed to target Android Nougat by then.
Now the same is being extended to support Android Oreo. Another important thing that app developers should know is that this rule applies to targetSdkVersion only and not minSdkVersion.
The minimum targetSdkVersion will increase on a yearly basis from now onwards. Starting from August 2019, new apps will have to support at least API level 28 (Android 9 Pie), and the same will apply to app updates from November 2019.