If you have apps in a Google Play Store, you mostly likely received a message from Google Play.
The message looked something like:
XX of your apps are affected by Google Play’s target API level requirements
We’ve detected that XX of your apps are targeting an old version of Android. To provide users with a safe and secure experience, Google Play requires all apps to meet target API level requirements before Aug 31, 2023.
So what happens if you don’t update your app by Aug 31? Is your app removed from the store? Don’t panic.
Based on the Play Console Help documentation, your apps will be still be available to all Android users if they were built using Android 11 (API Level 31) which was used by App Builders 10.x versions. If the last time you app was published, it was build with App Builder 9.x or older, then it will not be available to newer Android devices (i.e. Android 11+). Here are the rules:
To help make Target API level deadlines clearer, we are unifying the dates to August 31 every year. Starting August 31, 2023:
- New apps must target Android 13 (API level 33) or higher; except for Wear OS apps, which must target Android 11 (API level 30) or up to Android 13 (API level 33).
- Existing apps must target API level 31 or above to remain available to users on devices running Android OS higher than your app’s target API level. Apps that target API level 30 or below (target API level 29 or below for Wear OS), will only be available on devices running Android OS same or lower than your apps’ target API level.
After Aug 31, all new apps and updates will need to target API level 33 which is what App Builders 11.x uses and is the version used by Scriptoria. Remember, target API level is different from the minimum Android Platform. This can be confusing.
Update: I looked at some of the apps in a recent notification email that I received. There were apps that were build with App Builders 10.x which would be using API level 31. I am not sure why Google is including these in the report since they will still be accessible by all devices.
Trying not to panic
But I’m confused by these two markers, especially when I read somewhere that “Target SDK” (why not “Target API”?) means the lowest API that an app will run on - sort of like “minimum build”. Am I still on the right track. I ask because I am still getting the warning from Google saying I’m not compliant.
On August 8th I updated my two apps using the latest SAB and Scriptoria. Then on the 18th Google sent me the notification email you mention here, listing the same two apps. I also had noticed that the apps still weren’t showing up in search results.
Any idea on what might be going on?
Please see relevant screen shots.
Thanks so much.
The technical answer is that the app in Google Play now required additional data information. This depends on the exact characteristics of your app, specifically does it use Firebase for analytics and/or user accounts.
The API requirement should be addressed automatically by the latest version of Scriptoria. But it is the Console settings that require me to go into the app in the Google Play Console and adjust the data settings.
I am going to reset these setting in the Console to include analytics, but not user account. That should then let you successfully use Scriptoria to update the app.
So I need to know what specific apps you are managing. I have over 800 to adjust and it might take a while for me to get to all of them. But I can prioritize yours right away if you let me know which ones.
Thanks so much Bill for the message. While I have replied to you directly, I’ll reply here for the benefit of the public, and also with a small update.
Here are the apps in question:
Tayta Diosninchita Alabashun:
I reviewed the “App Content” section and answered a few questions, but I don’t imagine that that would have to do with the target API. In any case, after answering the questions I sent the changes for review.
Both use Firebase, but do not support account creation.
As mentioned previously, these apps were recently updated using Scriptoria, so I can’t imagine why it’s showing a target SDK of 31 instead of 33.
In any case, I ended up building the .APK and the .ABB files and uploaded them directly to Google Play, bypassing Scriptoria. They showed up with SDK 33! But then it advised me that the apps were using a Google advertising ID (the com.google.android.ems.permission.AD_ID permission) and prompted me to update some information about the app:
But again I don’t think that has anything to do with it.
Any ideas on what might be going on?
Thanks so much,
Firebase Analytics uses Advertising ID
Just in case the update from Chris wasn’t enough of an explanation…when you update the app store, you have to open the Advertising ID (Actioned), click “Yes” and then check the “Analytics” box.
Be sure to click “Save” at the bottom.
I went through all the apps in the Wycliffe Google Play Store and adjusted the advertising ID settings. So I think this should now be fixed.
Remove an old Beta in Google Play?
How do I delete or unpublish a live beta based on API 30? It seems to be blocking a required update to API 33, but I can’t find any ‘unpublish, delete, or update the bundle’ for the beta.
In 2020, because play was going to close my account for inactivity, I pushed an app based on a CC licensed Bible. It’s on Google play. However, soon after that I read something about rejections on Google play apparently related to the same Icon already in use, and I was guilty of just clicking through the process and using one of the ready-made icons. So I made and Icon and was in the middle of releasing it, and decided my attempt was poor. And ran into the fact i’m a coder not a designer and 20 or so attempts later got distracted by a more interesting programming task.
And that version of the app targeting API 30 has been in beta since.
Now, Google wants API 33, and I’ve uploaded it, but I don’t see anyway to unpublish or delete the API 30 beta release or ignore it and do another release with the API 33 bundle.