Android 14 will completely block the installation of outdated apps, even with sideloading.
This change would prevent users from installing APK files of very outdated applications even through sideloading.
To help reduce the spread of malware, Android 14 may completely block the installation of outdated apps. We are talking about applications published several years ago and therefore optimized for outdated versions of the operating system, which have not received updates for many years.
The guidelines for the Google Play Store require Android developers to keep their apps up-to-date to use the latest Android platform features and security measures. Just this month, the guidelines were updated once again, requiring new Play Store apps to be optimized for at least Android 12, which is the penultimate version of the operating system. Until now, these minimum API level requirements only applied to apps targeting the Google Play Store.
If a developer wants to create an app for an older version of Android, he can do so and simply ask his users to manually install the APK file from the internet, and therefore not from the official Google store. Similarly, if an Android app hasn’t been updated since the guidelines changed, the Play Store will still show and allow the app to work for anyone who has previously installed it.
But this situation may change in the future. Android 14 could make the API requirements more stringent , completely blocking the installation of outdated apps. This change would prevent users from installing APK files through sideloading as well . Initially, Android 14 devices will only block apps that have been optimized for extremely old versions of Android, such as Android 6.
However, the limits will become increasingly stringent. By blocking all outdated apps, Google intends to curb the spread of malware apps on Android.