Community Health Toolkit

Announcing the release of the Android App v0.6.0

This release focuses on improving Android Play Store compliance, in particular it increments the target SDK version which is a requirement for publishing new applications to the Play Store. To achieve this it was necessary to build a version of app which uses WebView rather than Crosswalk which is no longer supported. This is an implementation detail and the user experience of your application will be the same regardless of which technology is used.

The build scripts compile both versions by default. We recommend you use Crosswalk for Android versions 4 to 9 and WebView for Android 10 and above. The Play Store will automatically pick the right version for your device and the app will migrate data as necessary.

Read the release notes for more information about how to upgrade.

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If an existing user gets this update, will it invalidate their session/require them to log in again? For apps already in the Play Store, is there a requirement to publish a new version (e.g. if our target users only use Android 9 or below)? From @gareth’s description it seems it’s a requirement for new apps and for being able to install apps on Android 10, but I’d like to confirm.

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You shouldn’t have a session invalidation. Deployments will however need to be on cht-core version 3.9.2 or higher to work seamlessly with the new APKs

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If your current version has been accepted to the Play Store and is working well for your users then there is no requirement to publish this new version. I would recommend upgrading before you roll out any 10+ devices as that will mean those users don’t have to go through the migration process later.

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Thanks. I just checked our device list and saw we already have 500+ users who upgraded to Android 10, so I should have included that into the previous question. Until we upgrade the APK to 0.6, will the Android 10 users be able to continue to use the app, including new released versions of CHT core, or will CHT core require APK 0.6 at some point?

The release notes haven’t captured some of the deployment details here. This issue captures some improvements that we are making to that document which hopefully clarifies how we’re dealing with this across the CHT Community’s Apps.

This release is largely intended to unblock the publishing of new apps onto the Google Play Store in a manner compatible with Android 10+. This release includes a difficult upgrade experience which may cause operational challenges in the field for apps with users on Android 10+.

We are planning improvements to make the migration more user friendly in a future release.

Across the CHT community, the Google Play Store has been flagging select applications with the warning “Your app needs approval for background location access by January 18”. We have gone through the process that Google has outlined for the flagged apps since our app uses only foreground location experiences. This week, that process resulted in a rejection from Google due to how the app’s use of location is disclosed.

Your app is handling users’ location information without a prominent disclosure. Your app must prominently highlight how the user data will be used, describe the type of data being accessed and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use.

Make sure to also post a valid privacy policy in both the designated field in the Play Developer Console and from within the Play distributed app itself. The privacy policy should comprehensively disclose the access, collection, use and sharing of personal and sensitive user data.

For projects like MoH Zanzibar which 1) have android 10 users, 2) have not been flagged by the Play Store, and 3) are currently in violation of Google’s disclosure policies – we would be delaying the medic-android upgrade until either 1) the timing is forced by Google to remain listed, or 2) the following two issues are resolved: make the migration more user friendly and prominent disclosure in a future medic-android release.

Hopefully this clarifies things a little. Your users can continue to work without this upgrade - this is just about your listing in Google Play Store. This situation is actively unfolding and we will post updates here as they develop.

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