To assist scale back the potential for malware, Android 14 will start absolutely blocking the set up of apps that concentrate on outdated variations of Android.
For years now, the rules for the Google Play Store have ensured that Android builders maintain their apps up to date to use the most recent options and security measures of the Android platform. Just this month, the rules had been up to date, requiring newly listed Play Store apps to goal Android 12 at a minimal.
Up to this level, these minimal API stage necessities have solely utilized to apps which might be meant for the Google Play Store. Should a developer want to create an app for an older model, they’ll accomplish that and easily ask their customers to sideload the APK file manually. Similarly, if an Android app has not been up to date for the reason that pointers modified, the Play Store will proceed serving the app to those that have installed it as soon as earlier than.
According to a newly posted code change, Android 14 is set to make API necessities stricter, fully blocking the set up of outdated apps. This change would block customers from sideloading particular APK recordsdata and in addition block app shops from putting in those self same apps.
Initially, Android 14 units will solely block apps that concentrate on particularly previous Android variations. Over time although, the plan is to improve the edge to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), with Google having a mechanism to “progressively ramp [it] up.” That mentioned, it’ll in all probability nonetheless be up to every system maker to resolve the edge for outdated apps or whether or not to allow it in any respect.
If the minimal installable SDK model enforcement is enabled, block the set up of apps utilizing a decrease goal SDK model than required. This helps enhance safety and privateness as malware can goal older SDK variations to keep away from enforcement of recent API conduct.
By blocking these outdated apps, Google intends to curb the unfold of malware apps on Android. The developer liable for the change notes that some malware apps have deliberately focused older variations of Android to bypass certain protections solely enforced on newer apps.
That mentioned, if for no matter purpose you need or want to set up an outdated utility, it’ll nonetheless be potential by means of a command shell, by utilizing a brand new flag. Given the additional steps required, it is much less seemingly that somebody would do that by mistake and inadvertently set up malware.
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