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An extension to the Android SDK brings updated features for older devices

Google's extension of the Android SDK will make new feature and security updates available for a broader population of Android users.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor on
Google. Googleplex office in Silicon Valley.
Image: Getty Images

Android users with older phones typically can't enjoy new Android updates because their devices aren't up to date. Google aims to change this problem with the extension of the Android SDK

The extension provides developers with a toolkit to integrate features from Android's updated operating system into older devices operating on older versions of Android. Modular system components from Android 10 and higher can be updated independently from the usual Android release cycle. 

This extension will make new functional and security updates available for a broader population of Android users. According to the blog post, the Android SDK extension will "help make development more flexible and broaden the reach for app developers."

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In particular, the Android SDK extension will allow access to updates like the PhotoPicker API, which was only available on API level 33 and above. The extension will make PhotoPicker available to phones only updated to API level 30. 

Developers can query if the extension allows updated features to work in their apps. For a feature like PhotoPicker, developers can make it available for older phones without users updating their devices.

By extending the Android SDK, Google allows developers to integrate features from the AdServices API into their software. This announcement comes ahead of Google's release of the Android Privacy Sandbox, which will assist adtech platforms and app developers in testing beta versions of apps and products.

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