Google is tightening and restructuring its guidelines for the Google Play Store ensuring that Android developers keep their apps updated with the latest Android versions and follow safety measures on the platform. In the recent guidelines, Google also mentioned that the newly listed apps on Play Store will have to target Android 12 or later. Following that, soon Google will also block the installation of apps that target outdated android versions.
According to a report by 9 to 5 Google, the tech giant will fully block the installation of apps which target Android version 11 or prior. With this Google is planning to reduce the spread of malware which can be linked to the apps.
The report further cites the newly posted code change by Google and reveals that with Android 14, Google will make API- Application programming interface requirements stricter. So users will not be able to install any outdated apps. Notably, this change with Android 14 would also block users from sideloading specific APK files or downloading the same app from any other app store.
"New apps must target Android 12 (API level 31) or higher; except for Wear OS apps, which must target Android 11 (API level 30) or higher. Starting in January 2023, app updates must target Android 12 or higher and adjust for behavioural changes in Android 12; except for Wear OS apps, which must target Android 11 or higher," reads the Google blog post on Google Play's target API level requirement.
Initially, Android 14 will restrict and block only those apps which target old Android versions. However, in the future, Google is planning to increase to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). However, it will be up to device manufacturers to decide the threshold for outdated apps or whether to enable it or not.
Many developers explain that some malware apps target older versions of Android to bypass protections that only apply to newer apps. So by blocking outdated apps Google plans to curb the spread of malware apps on Android.
Users are always advised to keep their system updated with the latest software update. New updates like the upcoming Android 14 are developed to enhance the phone's security and help protect your data and device from cyber-attacks. Mobile app developers are also required to update their apps with support for the latest system OS in order to improve app security and stability. New Android updates also help app developers to access new features further making them enhance the user interface of apps.
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