Google Play Will Soon Hide Outdated Apps

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Apr 08, 2022

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New Play Store requirements will mandate developers to update their apps to work with the latest versions of Android.

October Deadline

Google is coming up with a new policy update to rule out downloads of outdated mobile apps on its store. Android app developers will need to keep up with updates to reflect the latest operating system releases.

Currently, for apps to be discoverable, they must match an API level within one year of the latest major Android OS version release. The existing rules will also impact new apps that don’t meet the requirement.

Now, as part of policy updates, the company has expanded its target-level API requirements.

“Existing apps that don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release will not be available for discovery or installation for new users with devices running Android OS versions higher than apps’ target API level,” Google’s Product Management Director Krish Vitaldevara said in a blog post.

The policy update will kick in later this year. Developers have until October to effect changes. From November 1, Android users will no longer be able to download and install non-compliant apps. Also, newly submitted ones that don’t meet the requirements will not be published on the marketplace.

Google Play Store dominates the app market, offering about 3.5 billion apps for download

The Rationale

Google offers a simple justification for its decision. Updated apps have significantly better privacy and security protections in place.

“Expanding our target level API requirements will protect users from installing older apps that may not have these protections in place,” Vitaldevara explained.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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