In this post of the Android official blog you can read that during the year 2018 and for the long term all apps publish on Google Play Store must be targeting the latest SDK.
- In the second half of 2018, Play will require that new apps and app updates target a recent Android API level. This will be required for new apps in August 2018, and for updates to existing apps in November 2018. This is to ensure apps are built on the latest APIs optimized for security and performance.
- In August 2019, Play will require that new apps and app updates with native libraries provide 64-bit versions in addition to their 32-bit versions.
- Additionally, in early 2018, Play will start adding a small amount of security metadata on top of each APK to further verify app authenticity. You do not need to take any action for this change.
Leaving you to read all the article by your own, I block quote here below an explanation of the above point one:
In order to provide users with the best Android experience possible, the Google Play Console will require that apps target a recent API level:
- August 2018: New apps required to target API level 26 (Android 8.0) or higher.
- November 2018: Updates to existing apps required to target API level 26 or higher.
- 2019 onwards: Each year the
targetSdkVersionrequirement will advance. Within one year following each Android dessert release, new apps and app updates will need to target the corresponding API level or higher.
Don’t wait too long! Be prepared.