Android 14 would be more intransigent to avoid less secure applications

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A guideline for Android apps implies that with Android 14, Google would like to block the installation of malicious apps that target older smartphones running older versions of the operating system.

A bugdroid // Source: jshmllr on Flickr

If some have nothing to do with security on smartphones, then apparently this is not Google’s opinion. A recently released code change indicates that the minimum requirements for Android apps will be higher for Android 14. The operating system could completely block the installation of apps that are not up to date with regard to their security.

Google revises its requirements for applications on the rise

This 9to5Google which spotted small code changes and guidelines for Android app developers. The newspaper recalls that the Play Store requires certain conditions for an application to be published there: it must be kept up to date and use the latest Android security measures. The first piece of information is that newly listed apps on the Play Store must target Android API level 12 at a minimum.

Please note that applications that comply with this rule will continue to function normally on earlier versions of the operating system. However, as Google points out, targeting a recent API level allows developers to improve security, performance, and the overall app experience. By forcing apps to target Android 12, Google wants to better protect users.

Until now, a developer can, if he does not comply with the conditions imposed by Google, make the APK file of his application available, which allows you to install the latter anyway. Also, if a user has downloaded an app in the past and it hasn’t been updated in the meantime, they can still download it from the Play Store. But these possibilities could cease to exist in a few years.

Android 14 will block the installation of certain applications

Another code change noted states that ” Android 14 is set to make the API requirements stricter, completely blocking the installation of outdated apps. This change will prevent users from uploading certain APKs and app stores from installing those same apps. “, written 9to5Google.

The front of the Pixel 7. // Source: Frandroid – Chloé Pertuis

This new version of Android was initially only able to block apps targeted at devices running older versions of the operating system. At Google, many apps containing malware are said to have been targeted at older versions of Android, apps that are sometimes downloaded in bulk.

There will always be a way to install outdated apps, but it will require a bit of fiddling. The main advantage is that we can no longer install malicious applications without realizing it. For now, we expect a first beta of Android 14 for April 2023, in a few months. This next version of Android should be accompanied by better compatibility with hard drives and the arrival of the AV1 codec.

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