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Home / Tips and Tricks / How Google forces apps to target Oreo helps Android's malware problem «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How Google forces apps to target Oreo helps Android's malware problem «Android :: Gadget Hacks

Since November 1, 2018, Google has become much harder for Android app developers. New apps uploaded to the Play Store had to be targeted for Android 8.0 Oreo or later in August, but now every update of existing apps must do the same. It may seem like a simple rule but has some serious consequences.

According to the layperson: When an app targets an Android version, it hopes that this version of Android will be installed on your phone. I said that hopes and is not required . The app can still run on older or newer versions of Android, but some features are missing if your phone is running an older version than the target version.

The Android version of an app is separate from the required version. Google Podcasts requires Android 4.1, but it targets 8.0, so it runs on Jelly Bean or higher, but it works best on Oreo.

From November 1, 2018, the Google Play Store will no longer allow developers to upload an app update unless the update is specifically targeted for Android 8.0 or higher. This is true for any app that is currently in the Play Store, and the above-mentioned August deadline is for first-time uploading of new apps.

Next year, the same deadlines will apply to this year's major Android release 9.0. Every year, developers will be forced to target their apps to an Android version that's not older than a year. If they do not, they will not be able to upload new apps or updates to their existing apps.

Why Developers Address Older Versions of Android

Backward compatibility means that app developers would always do this You want to have the latest version of Android as your destination for accessing new features, but many do not , In addition to adding features and functionality, new versions of Android also define new rules – and some of these rules can restrict app developers.

To get around this, many developers have older versions of Android from a time when the current rules and limitations were not there. Things like Oreo's new background limitations make apps more battery-friendly and potentially restrict functionality.

An important rule introduced in 2015 was the granular authorization system of Android Marshmallow. Apps that target this release or later must explicitly ask the user for permission to access specific sensors and data. For example, if an app wants to use your microphone, you'll need to see a prompt asking if this is possible.

What does this mean for malware apps?

There are legitimate reasons to bypass the new background restrictions and permissions rules. Prompts, but not every developer, targets good old Android versions. Here, the changes affect the most on malware.

Many apps are considered malware because of permissions abuse. For example, a flashlight app really only needs permission to access your flashlight, but some of the offers in the Play Store use the pre-marshmallow entitlement model to request access to microphone, location, contact list, and more in batch mode. The developers of the app could monetize their software by selling this information to marketers or researchers.

These old permission requests appear in a pop-up window when the app is installed, and many users simply click on the "OK" they read Malicious developers can get involved here for the nonchalance of people just by downloading an old version of Android sight in front of marshmallow.

This is the end. All new apps and updates must be targeted to Android Oreo. This means that you must manually approve all permissions that an app requests. You can easily tap "Deny" to prevent a suspicious app from accessing this permission, so that malicious apps can have a hard time finding other information. 19659004] A permission request for an app that targets Android Marshmallow or higher.

The second impact of these changes on malware is the new background execution limits implemented in Android Oreo. In short, if an app targets Oreo and your phone runs Android 8.0 or higher, it can no longer run in the background unchecked.

When you actively use an app, it is assumed to be running in the app foreground. In this situation, and in some other rare cases, the app can do anything – after all, use the app so that the services it runs are inherently tasks that the user has authorized them to execute.

If you do not use and use an app that targets Oreo, Android will consider 8.0 and newer builds running in the background. Once it has taken a back seat, the system gives the app a few minutes to complete all running processes, but then Android stops all app processes.

Malware apps can not do this Keep active data connections longer in the background to "call home". You also can not run unlimited services to monitor your activity and collect information about you. This will severely limit some of the most shadowy behaviors in Android malware apps.

Of course, developers of existing malware apps simply can not update their apps to avoid compliance with these new rules. However, outdated apps are generally ranked lower in the Play Store search results than their updated counterparts, with fewer users encountering them first. At least there are some new hurdles for dodgy developers who want to upload a new malware app.

Overall, these new rules mean a big shift in the Android ecosystem. Its effects extend far beyond malware – people running newer versions of Android should have many other benefits, such as: Better battery life, split-screen support, more apps that work with larger screens, and even improved camera quality.

Cover pictures and screenshots of Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

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