Google’s Android 14 Will Block Installation of Outdated Apps From Play Store: Report

Google rolled out the latest Android 13 OS last year and now it is set to introduce the next Android version, Android 14, later this year. The upcoming Android version will reportedly get an additional layer of security that will block malicious apps from making their way to smartphones. A recent report has suggested that the upcoming Android 14 will block the installation of outdated apps that target the older versions of Android — Android 12 or lower.

According to a report by 9to5Google, a new code change shared by Google suggests that Android 14 will come with stricter API requirements that will block users from downloading an outdated app, as well as prohibit sideloading of potentially dangerous APK files. Not only that, but the upcoming software update will also restrict installing those apps from app stores.

The report noted that Android 14 will initially restrict those apps that target older Android versions (Android 12 or lower), and later it will be extended to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). The code change posted by the tech giant read that the upcoming software update will block the installation of apps lacking the minimum installable SDK version. It added that the new changes will improve security and privacy as malware targets older SDK versions. Google is planning to ramp up the minimum installable target SDK version up to version 23 for Android U.

Google has updated its guidelines for API level requirements for newly listed Play Store apps this month. It has asked app developers to target at least Android 12 (API level 31) or higher. However, these API requirements are currently applied to only Google Play store apps; users can still download outdated apps by sideloading the APK file manually. Also, users who have already installed these apps before the guidelines were updated, will continue to access them.

Meanwhile, Google hasn't revealed anything about the rollout of the Android 14 beta and its stable version. The Android 14 update is expected to arrive in the coming months.

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