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Submitting Android applications to the Play Store starting August 2018

Late last year, Google announced that all new applications submitted to the Play Store will need to be published targeting API level 26, from August onward. As a result, we will be making changes to some platform components.

What will change?

  • MABS build stack will be upgraded, for both iOS and Android platforms;

  • Generated Android builds will now target API level 26

What do you need to do?

Since we’re updating Cordova CLI, all plugins must now have a package.json file containing the plugin configurations. To achieve this, you should update all OutSystems supported plugins from the OutSystems Forge to be compliant with this change.

This also applies to non-supported plugins, if they are not respecting this convention.

Since Cordova plugins are npm packages, Cordova requested that its plugins, besides the plugin.xml file, must also have a package.json file present. Additionally, they should also match in content.

This is a breaking change, which means that if not compliant, builds may fail. More information can be found in the npm documentation and in the Cordova documentation.

If you are struggling with the package.json creation, we’ve just released documentation describing how to do so from a plugin.xml file, available here.

Why is this different from my normal operations?

Because we’ve upgraded the Cordova CLI version, you’ll need to review all supported plugins, custom-built plugins and third-party plugins to make sure they’re following the latest conventions. If they are not, you need to upgrade or adapt them, otherwise, both Android and iOS builds will fail.

What if I don’t upgrade my applications?

You’ll miss out on Android O features. However, applications will continue to run using the currently deployed version on the stores because we are not changing the way applications  run, just the technology used to build the native part of the application. Google states that new applications need to be built targeting API level 26; existing applications with older API levels will still be available.

Current Mobile Build Stack

After this upgrade, your Android and iOS applications will be generated with this new set of build components. Please use this list as a reference for maintaining your custom-built plugins. You can keep track of future changes to this stack in the MABS release notes.

For iOS:
  • XCode 9

  • iOS SDK 11 compatibility (from 8 to 11)

  • Cordova iOS - 4.3.1 (with iOS 11 support)*

For Android:
  • API Level 19-26

  • Cordova Android - Version 6.4.0

For Both:
  • Cordova CLI - 7.1.0


* This means that we’re using a customized version of Cordova iOS 4.3.1, where we added some patches from newer Cordova iOS versions without upgrading it yet.