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Google’s Android 14 blocks the installation of outdated apps from the Play Store: report

Google rolled out the latest Android 13 operating system last year and now it plans to introduce the next Android version, Android 14, later this year. The upcoming Android version is reportedly getting an extra layer of security that will prevent malicious apps from making their way onto smartphones. A recent report has suggested that the upcoming Android 14 will block the installation of legacy apps targeting the older versions of Android – Android 12 or lower.

According to a report by 9to5Google, a new one change code shared by Google suggests that Android 14 will come with tighter API requirements that prevent users from downloading an outdated app, and ban the sideloading of potentially dangerous APK files. Not only that, but the upcoming software update will also restrict the installation of those apps from app stores.

The report noted that Android 14 will initially restrict those apps targeting older Android versions (Android 12 or lower), and will later expand 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 without the minimum installable SDK version. It added that the new changes will improve security and privacy as malware targets older SDK versions. Google plans to increase the minimum installable target SDK version to version 23 for Android U.

Google has 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 However, these API requirements are currently only applied to Google Play Store apps; users can still download outdated apps by manually sideloading the APK file. Also, users who already installed these apps before the guidelines were updated will continue to have access to them.

Meanwhile, Google has not revealed anything about the rollout of the Android 14 beta and its stable version. The Android 14 update is expected in the coming months.


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