Android 14 To Prevent Installation Of Outdated Apps; Here’s How It Will Boost Security – Gizbot News


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Android 14 to prevent installation of outdated apps

In the next iteration of Android, legacy applications may not be fully installable. According to a recent code change spotted by 9to5Google in the AOSP repository, Android 14 will prevent users from sideloading apps that don’t target the minimum OS version.

Due to Google’s commitment to mobile platform security, they recently updated their Google Play Store guidelines to require newly listed apps to target at least Android 12. These guidelines apply only to apps released on the Play Store. Developers who want to target older versions of Android can release their APK file and ask users to sideload it manually. Additionally, if the developer has not updated the app since the implementation of the new guidelines, the Play Store will continue to offer it to users who have already downloaded it.

Google sets stricter API requirements in Android 14

The Android 14 release tightens API requirements by disallowing installation of older apps. Users will no longer be able to sideload legacy apps, and third-party app stores such as F-Droid and Aptoide will also be unable to install these apps.

To enforce this change, Google first prevents apps from being installed only on Android 14 devices intended to run on older versions of Android (think Android 4.4 KitKat). Over time, we plan to “harden” the minimum Android version to 6.0 Marshmallow.

With this change, Google leaves enforcement up to device manufacturers, who can choose the threshold or disable it entirely. If the user for some reason wants to install the old app, there is a way to install the app from a command shell using the new flags. This method requires technical know-how, and the additional steps and complexity make it less likely that users will accidentally install malware.

Google hopes Android 14 will improve malware protection

Some malware apps intentionally seek out sideloading paths to circumvent restrictions that apply only to new apps on the Play Store, so Google makes significant changes to sideloading apps.

Thank you for Google’s efforts to fight malware and improve operating system security. But on the other hand, this move is also a double-edged sword. This is because it limits the ability of Android users to install required apps for the platform.

Expect to hear more about this important change as Google prepares to release the first developer preview builds of Android 14 in the coming weeks.

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Story premiered: Wednesday, January 25, 2023, 4:46 PM [IST]




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