This week, the media reported that the upcoming Android 14 will introduce a ban on installing apps designed for legacy versions of Android.You won’t even be able to download the APK file and install it manually. The developers hope that these measures will help in the fight against malware.
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According to 9to5Google, Google’s rules changed last month to require apps recently added to the Play Store to target at least Android 12.
Previously, the minimum API level requirements only applied to apps targeting the Google Play Store. If a developer wanted to build an app for an older version, they could ask their users to manually download the required APK file. In addition, if an Android app was not updated after the guidelines were changed, the Play Store still continued to provide it to users who installed it earlier.
In Android 14, API requirements will be tightened, and the installation of legacy applications will be completely blocked. For example, the changes will prevent users from downloading APK files, and will also prevent stores from installing such applications.
Let me remind you that we also wrote that Vulnerability StrandHogg 2.0 allows malware to mask itself as other Android applications, and information security specialists also said that Spyware Developers Ready to hack iOS and Android for 8 million euros.
Journalists report that at first, devices on Android 14 will only block applications designed for very old versions of Android. But over time, it is planned to increase this threshold to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). Most likely, in the end, each device manufacturer will independently set a threshold for legacy applications (if at all).
Google hopes that the block of the outdated apps will help to curb the spread of Android malware. For example, developers say that some malicious applications deliberately target older versions of Android, thus bypassing protection mechanisms that are relevant only for newer applications.
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