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The goal of AppStudio is to bring native app creation tools to all ArcGIS users. As you know AppStudio provides productivity tools for building, testing, and distributing apps that can be used by both developer and non-developers...and everyone in-between.  If you peel back the technical layers of the AppStudio stack you will find various components such as the Qt SDK, Android SDK, Apple Xcode and ArcGIS Runtime that enable things like cross platform development and geospatial mapping tools.  These components are development projects in themselves, each with release timelines and feature updates. This blog post is to update you on some the current state of AppStudio versions and upcoming important dates and dependencies for different platforms.

 

AppStudio for ArcGIS 2.1 Deprecation and ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.6 Retirement

The ArcGIS Runtime is the core mapping component that gives AppStudio access to various mapping and geospatial capabilities. The initial 1.0 release of AppStudio was built on earlier 10.2.x version of the ArcGIS Runtime, and at AppStudio 2.0 we included support for both the 10.2.x Runtime as well as introduced the new 100.x Runtime.  In April of 2018 AppStudio 3.0 was released and the 10.2.x Runtime was removed completely form the AppStudio product.

The 10.2.6 ver of ArcGIS Runtime for Qt that was included in AppStudio 2.1 is now in Mature Support. This means that it will no longer receive updates, patches, or platform testing and certification.

AppStudio for ArcGIS 2.1 has been in Mature Support since April 2018 and will be retired starting April 1 2019.

Because of the support status of ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.x and issues with submitting to app stores (see the next sections), AppStudio 2.1 is being deprecated and it is recommended that users move any current development projects to a newer version of AppStudio. The apps you have already created and/or published to the app stores will continue to work, but your ability to support and enhance these apps will be limited (see next section about Android and iOS support). The AppStudio 2.1 Desktop download has already been removed from our website, if you require access to download AppStudio Desktop 2.1 for app maintenance purpose please reach out to the AppStudio team directly at appstudio@esri.com.

 

Android API Level 26 Requirement for the Google Play Store

At the beginning of November 2018 any Android app submitted to the Google Play Store (new app or update to existing app) needs to be built to target the Android API Level 26 (Android 8.0) or higher.  The AppStudio Cloud Make servers have been upgraded to support API Level 26 Android builds if you are using AppStudio Desktop 3.0 or higher.  If you have apps built with AppStudio 2.1 earlier you will not be able to submit an apps (new or update) to the Google Play Store.

Xcode 9 / iOS 11 SDK Requirement for the Apple App Store

The Apple App Store currently requires that all new apps and updates are built with Xcode 9 (iOS 11 SDK). AppStudio 2.1 and the ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.6 are use an older verion of Xcdoe and thus are not capable of creating iOS binaries (IPA files) that meet the App Store requirement.

 

April 2019 Xcode 10.1 / iOS 12 SKD Requirement for the Apple App Store

When you request an iOS build using the AppStudio Cloud Make service your AppStudio app is compiled using Apple’s Xcode tools to create a binary (ipa) file suitable for distribution.  In March 2019 Apple Inc will require that all apps (new and updates) submitted to the Apple App Store are compiled using a XCode 10.1.  This timing of the requirement is problematic because support for XCode 10 in the Qt SDK is a recent addition and the ArcGIS Runtime for Qt is still working on support for this version of the Qt SDK.  What does this mean for the AppStudio Developers? Starting in March of 2019 you will not be able to submit AppStudio app to the Apple App Store using any version of AppStudio, including the released 3.2 version of AppStudio.  We will release a beta version of AppStudio 3.3 in the beginning of March that supports Xcode 10 so you can develop and test your apps in preparation of the final release. In April we will release AppStudio 3.3 with support for Xcode 10.1 and providing a way for you to submit apps to the Apple App Store on a released version of AppStudio.  We are providing this information so you can plan accordingly with any iOS releases that may be scheduled for March or April 2019.  If you have questions or concerns about the timeline for iOS / Xcode 10.1 support, please contact the AppStudio Team appstudio@esri.com.

 

 

Ref links

https://support.esri.com/en/Products/Developers/native-runtime-sdks/arcgis-runtime-sdk-for-qt/10-2-6#product-support

 

https://support.esri.com/en/Products/Apps/app-builders/AppStudio-for-ArcGIS/3-1#product-support

 

https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2017/12/improving-app-security-and-performance.html

 

https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=05072018a

 

https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=09122018c

Synopsis: The Cloud Make service for AppStudio has been updated to include a new libpng library that fixes a security vulnerability on the Android platform.  To update your AppStudio Android apps with this fix simply run a another build process for Android from the online "Build App" web page or using the "Make" tool in AppStudio Desktop Edition

 

  

 

Background: Earlier in the year a security vulnerability was discovered in the popular Open Source libpng libraries, and the Google Play store flagged any apps with include the un-patched libpng library with a "Security Alert" notice. The AppStudio Cloud Make servers have now been updated with a new Qt Runtime SDK that addresses the libpng security vulnerabilities. This update allows AppStudio Android apps that are published to the Google Play store to be updated and any new published apps to comply with Google Play’s Malicious Behavior policy. You can read more about this vulnerability in CVE-2015-8540.

Again, to update your AppStudio Android apps with this fix simply run a another build process using the Cloud Make service to generate a new Android APK file.