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Android 14 To Block Outdated Apps In Compliance With Updated API Requirements For Developers

Edited By: Shaurya Sharma

Last Updated: January 24, 2023, 11:31 IST

With this change, users will not be able to sideload specific APK files.

With this change, users will not be able to sideload specific APK files.

Android 14’s updated API requirements will completely restrict the installation of outdated applications soon.

Developers are now obliged to target Android 12 or later for new apps posted in the Google Play Store, and starting with Android 14, apps targeting outdated versions of Android will be completely restricted to reduce malware concerns.

According to a report by 9to5Google, until now, the minimum API level requirements only applied to apps submitted to the Google Play Store. Developers could still create apps for older Android versions and have users manually install the APK file through sideloading. However, Android 14’s updated API requirements will completely restrict the installation of outdated applications, as per a recent code update.

With this change, users will not be able to sideload specific APK files and app stores will not be able to install those specific apps.

The report further states that Android 14 devices would initially only block apps that are intended for “older Android versions,” but this will later be extended to include Android 6.0 Marshmallow. But it’s probable that each device manufacturer will be free to choose the cutoff for outdated apps or even whether to enable it at all.

“If the minimum installable SDK version enforcement is enabled, block the install of apps using a lower target SDK version than required. This helps improve security and privacy as malware can target older SDK versions to avoid enforcement of new API behavior, Google said in a developer post. Google’s primary goal is likely to launch a crackdown on malware that infects devices (including older devices) running Android.

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