To help reduce the potential for malware, Android 14 will begin completely blocking the installation of apps that target outdated versions of Android.

For years now, guidelines for the Google Play Store have ensured that Android developers update their apps to take advantage of the latest features and security measures of the Android platform. Just this month instructions requires updated Play Store apps to target Android 12 as a minimum.

Up until this point, these minimum API level requirements only applied to apps intended for the Google Play Store. If a developer wants to build an app for an older version, they can do so and simply ask their users to download the APK file manually. Similarly, if the Android app hasn’t been updated after the instructions have been changed, the Play Store will continue to serve the app. to those who installed it once before.

According to the newly published code switching, Android 14 is set to tighten API requirements by completely blocking the installation of outdated apps. This change will block users from sideloading custom APK files and also block app stores from installing those apps.

Initially, Android 14 devices will only block apps that specifically target older Android versions. Over time, the plan is to raise the threshold to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), and Google has a “progressive upgrade” mechanism. [it] up.” That said, it will be up to each device manufacturer to decide whether to enable the threshold for deprecated apps or not at all.

If minimum installable SDK version enforcement is enabled, block apps from installing using a target SDK version lower than required. This helps improve security and privacy, as malware can target older SDK versions to prevent new API behavior from being implemented.

By blocking these outdated apps, Google intends to prevent the spread of malware apps on Android. The developer responsible for the change notes that some malware apps have deliberately targeted older versions of Android, bypassing certain protections only implemented in newer apps.

That said, if for whatever reason you want or need to install an outdated program, it will still be possible through the command shell. new flag. Given the extra steps required, it’s unlikely that someone will do this by mistake and accidentally install malware.

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