Google says Android now as secure as Apple's iOS

Isaac Cain
March 20, 2018

Now this week, it looks like future versions of Android could block apps from running that don't support newer versions of the OS. According to the report, with Android P, developers will have to target a minimum API level of 17, which is equivalent to Android 4.2.

Play Protect is created to keep Android users safe from potentially harmful applications (PHAs) on their devices and in the Google Play mobile app store. "We're now Wear OS by Google, a wearables operating system for everyone". This basically means the apps built for the older Android version will be blocked from running on a device running the newer Android OS.

As Android Police points out, for the current Android P Developer Preview, the minimum API level for apps is set to v17, which is Android 4.2. The new branding clarifies that Google smartwatches aren't restricted to Android phones, which could help the ecosystem to better rival the Apple Watch. Apple also recently informed all app developers to update their apps to 64-bits in order to stay on the Apple app store.

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As the report says, with Android P, there is a new MIN_SUPPORTED_TARGET_SDK_INT class, which states the minimum supported API level that can be used on the device.

Another reason, we assume, is because apps built for Android 4.1 and older may not be as optimized for modern smartphones in terms of features, UI, resolution and other factors. It appears with Android P, the change will take effect fully. However, given that many buy Android for the freedom it offers, blocking apps from running entirely does seem like a step in a very different direction. By increasing bounties for responsible vulnerability disclosure, Google was able to ensure that no critical security vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed without an update becoming available for it first, he noted. So it is beneficial for all users to stop using old apps move on to new apps that provide more advanced features with improved security.

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