Starting with the upcoming version of the Android mobile operating system, it could become impossible to install apps that were developed for particularly old versions via the Play Store. “9to5Google” discovered this in source code for Android 14, which can now be viewed. Accordingly, initially only apps that were developed for Android 6.0 should be completely blocked, but the limit should then be raised continuously. The procedure is intended to improve security and data protection, the portal quotes from the associated justification.
Specifications so far only for Play Store
As “9to5Google” explains, the specifications for Google’s Play Store have been specifying for years the Android version for which apps available there must at least have been developed. New apps and updates must now have been developed for at least Android 12, according to the specifications for developers. So far, however, this only applies to the official Google App Store, with the upcoming changes applications that are installed in other ways should now also be included. Outdated apps could then no longer be installed.
With the change, Google wants to curb the spread of malware via Android, explains the US portal. Some malware apps were specifically designed for older Android versions that lack the protection mechanisms of newer SDKs. However, it is likely that the device manufacturers themselves will be able to determine in future which version of Android the installable apps must at least support. They could also switch off the default if possible. Also, even with the implementation, it would still be possible to install outdated apps. But that would be even more cumbersome and the accidental installation of malware even less likely.
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