Currently, Google requires new apps and app updates to target an Android API level within just one year of the latest Android OS version release. The new changes, by contrast, target existing apps that may not have been updated in a while. Google notes that if you’re running an older device, you’ll “continue to be able to discover, re-install, and use the app on any device running any Android OS version that the app supports.”
Google has announced new Play Store restrictions that basically block any existing Android apps that are severely out of date. According to the Android Developer blog, all apps in the Store must target an API level within two years of the most recent major Android version, or they will be unavailable for discovery or installation. According to the business, the goal is to “prevent customers from installing older programmes that may not have these protections in place.” On November 1st, 2022, the amendments will take effect.
Play has seen a lot of new security measures over the last few years. The most significant came in 2017 when Google launched Play Protect designed to scan for rogue apps with help from machine learning. However, some still get through that pose security risks and violate user privacy. The new policy may help stop a good chunk of those, but as we all know by now, it will never catch them all.
Google said the “vast majority” of apps already follow the incoming standard. While that may be true, the Play Store has around 2.87 million apps in total, so there are a no doubt a huge number that need attention. For those that don’t conform, it’s notifying developers and giving them any resources needed to update.