With Android 14, Google will, most likely, stop allowing users to install outdated apps on their smartphones. A new code change, via 9to5Google, suggests that Android 14 will make API requirements stricter in order to completely block the installation of outdated apps.
This API will make an impact on a number of apps available on the Google Play Store that have not been updated to a new version for a certain time. In addition, this change would also restrict users from sideloading specific APK files and also block app stores from installing those same apps.
It’s reported that Android 14 devices will initially block apps that target especially old Android versions. Later on, the restrictions may expand to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), with Google having a mechanism to “progressively ramp [it] up.” Android vendors will be allowed to customize the restrictions or not use them on their own.
The report mentions that the Android maker plans to stop the spread of malware apps on the operating system. The developer responsible for the change notes that some malware apps have intentionally targeted older versions of Android to bypass certain protections only enforced on newer apps.
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.
The requirements for the Google Play Store have long assured that Android app developers keep their apps updated to take advantage of the newest features and security precautions. Recent revisions to the rules mandate that newly added Play Store apps target Android 12 at the very least.