Android 14 may block app sideloading to some extent.

 

TL; DR

  • Android 14 is set to implement stricter restrictions for apps targeting earlier versions of the OS.
  • Users can no longer download these apps through the Play Store or sideload them elsewhere.

Android 13 has reached over 5% of all devices in less than 6 months and the rollout has been successful, so it’s time to look forward to Android 14. A developer preview of the new Android version will be released around March and we are already seeing it. Thanks to Code Detective, several details about the software spill out. One of these changes will affect overall app downloads in Android 14.

Google constantly asks app developers to update their apps according to the latest Android version. Current Play Store guidelines require new apps to target Android 12 or higher. However, these requirements are limited to apps from the Google Play Store only. You can still sideload apps that target older versions of Android. Even the Play Store can download outdated apps that don’t adhere to the minimum OS requirements if you’ve installed them once before.

All of this will change in Android 14, as Google aims to reduce the potential spread of malware. The new code completely blocks outdated apps from the Google Play Store by setting stricter API requirements. It even blocks the ability to sideload such apps.

First of all, Android 14 blocks apps specifically targeting older versions of Android. Google will raise the threshold for Android Marshmallow over time and you can expect the company to continue raising it.

The developers behind the change point out that some apps deliberately target older Android versions in order to circumvent certain security protections applied to newer apps. Tighter restrictions prevent these apps from compromising the security of your Android device.

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