Blog: Upgrade required: meet the new rules for mobile applications

Apple and Google are setting new ground rules for mobile applications on the App Store and Google Play. This year will see the releases of iOS 12 and Android 9 Pie. That’s why both mobile behemoths are streamlining their platforms to prepare for future devices. With these changes, companies and developers are going to have to update their mobile apps or face a ban from the two platforms. However, there’s no need to panic. This inevitable app upgrade brings an incredible opportunity to capture a wider audience and cement your position as leaders in your field.

Apple and Google are preparing for the future, are you?

Both companies are investing in the future of their devices, how their Operating Systems are going to work, and of how they see users interacting with their phones and tablets. Because of this, they are making sure that the current generation of apps all adheres to a specific set of rules and regulations. The apps that don’t upgrade are simply going to vanish from both app stores. It’s important to remember that the Apple App Store hosts just over 2,000,000 apps while the Google Play Store has nearly double that. In 2016, Apple removed almost 50,000 apps from the App Store because these outdated apps no longer conformed to Apple’s guidelines. Apple and Google are aware of what monoliths their stores have become. So, they are cracking down on those that they feel are not constantly updated to provide an enjoyable user experience for all their devices.

But what are the changes that the software companies are bringing to devices?

Below you can find the definitive checklist that DB Best application development team uses for analyzing iOS and Android applications. Of course, we include some reference points that you can go after. But at the end of the day, we recommend you contact our development team because they have some real hands-on experience of upgrading mobile applications to meet the latest requirements.


  1. Starting from July 2018, Apple requires the support of iPhone X and iOS 11 SDK in all new applications on App Store. If the release of the iOS application occurs before the release of the iPhone X, its interface may not display correctly on the screen with a notch. In this case, the developers need to make special settings to support the notch displays.
  2. Apple iPhone X introduced a completely new way of user authentication. Previously, the applications used Touch ID for various security features, and now the developers need to add support of the Face ID recognition for user authentication, password autofill, and other related features.
  3. In addition, the revolutionary iPhone X lacks the home button. That’s because Apple was forced to adapt to using gestures to allow users to navigate the device. Now, it’s the developers turn, who need to update their applications to ensure they work without the home button correctly.
  4. Apple also deprecated OpenGL ES support in iOS 12 which means that games and graphics-intensive apps that previously used OpenGL ES should now adopt Metal. However, the apps built using OpenGL ES will continue to run in iOS 12. But that’s not for long, and in a very short period, Apple will decide to remove those apps from the App Store.
  5. One of the major changes is Apple no longer supporting 32-bit applications. Apple wants to make all the applications compatible with their newer 64-bit chips and Metal 1 & 2 graphics system. Now even iOS 11 provides support for 64-bit apps. So, the developers need to make sure that the applications are 64-bit compatible. The same applies to macOS applications.


With Apple moving ahead at blistering speeds, they want to make sure that developers and apps are going to be able to catch up.


  1. Starting from August 2018, Google Play will require that new apps target a recent Android API level. This means that all new Android applications on Google Play should be built under Android 8.0, using API level 26.
  2. Starting from November 2018, this requirement becomes mandatory for all updates of existing Android applications. This means that you can’t release a new application update if it uses an earlier version of the API.
  3. Starting from 2019, Google Play will require that new apps and app updates with native libraries provide 64-bit versions in addition to their 32-bit versions. Moreover, the required API level for all Android applications will increase up to 27. You can find more details on Google Play’s target API level requirements, including the important points you should know about updating your target API level to meet the Google Play requirements at
  4. And what about all existing Android applications that are currently on the market? After Google released Android 8.0 Oreo, they insisted that the developers should provide the compatibility with the latest Android version. That’s because the behavior of Android has significantly changed in the latest version of the mobile OS. So, the developers need to make appropriate changes to the applications.
  5. However, in August 2018 Google will release Android 9 Pie. All existing applications, even those that are compatible with Android 8.0, will require some updates because the OS behavior changes once again.

Google’s demands of developers are similar to Apple’s. By demanding the compatibility of all new applications with Android 8.0, Google ensures that all future apps meet a minimum threshold for what operating systems they support. Much like Apple, the next version of Android heavily relies on the use of gestures and expects new apps to be able to accommodate.

What does this mean for me?

For all developers, it means that you’re going to have to dig deep into your source code and make sure that every part of your app can run across the myriad of current and next-generation operating systems.

Failure to do so would likely see your app penalized in search rankings. In the worst case, Apple and Google will remove your application from the app stores altogether.


But wait…

It’s easy to get downtrodden by all of this. No one wants to trawl through your app’s code to bring it up to snuff; we get it. But it’s an incredible opportunity for you and your audience. The change in app store rules present two benefits to you:

  1. Your rival’s applications that don’t adhere to the new guidelines are going to face harsh penalties. They can even face removal from the app store.
  2. You can update your application to take advantage of the latest and greatest technology.

The landscape of technology has changed dramatically over the past few years. Suddenly, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Augmented Reality are available for all application developers and not just the largest of companies. And this is where DB Best can help you succeed.


While the new versions of mobile OS add more features to mobile devices, your applications should take full advantage of them. Why simply upgrade your app to make it compatible with the latest requirements, when you can add some new cool options like facial recognition or augmented reality with Apple’s ARKit or Google’s ARCore into your app.

Mobile application upgrade time

Our global development team has spent years perfecting the tools of the future. This experience helps imbue your apps with the strength that it needs to compete in the next-generation of applications. Whether it’s adding in facial detection, or ensuring that it works within China, or perhaps just adding a dose of AI, our DB Best team can help enhance your app. And our application development team will ensure that your apps adhere to all the new app store rules.

It’s crucial to ensure that your app remains up to date with both Apple and Google’s regulations. Just last year, the app economy brought in over $86 billion dollars, a 105% growth from 2015. And the analysts predict that this will explode by 2020. You know how important your app is to your customers, to your business, and to your continued place at the top of your customer’s mind.

Bringing in DB Best to upgrade your mobile application will not only keep you on the app store. We can even add in a little bit of magic that will surprise and delight your audience.

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