Google announced that starting November 1, 2022, it will block discovery and installation for apps that don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release version. The company said outdated apps will no longer be available for users with devices running Android OS versions higher than apps’ target API level.
“The rationale behind this is simple. Users with the latest devices or those who are fully caught up on Android updates expect to realize the full potential of all the privacy and security protections Android has to offer. Expanding our target level API requirements will protect users from installing older apps that may not have these protections in place,” Google explained.
Existing users of outdated apps who have previously downloaded the app from Google Play will be able to continue to discover, reinstall and use the app on any device running any Android OS version the app supports.
Saying that the vast majority of apps on Google Play already comply with these standards, the company underlined that it informs the developers of other apps in advance to give them the necessary time and provides resources for those who need it.
Currently, Google requires new apps and app updates to target an Android API level within one year of the latest major Android OS version release. New apps and app updates that don’t meet this requirement cannot be published on Google Play.
Google also announced that it will release a form on the Developer Play Console in the coming months, and Android developers who need more time for migration will be able to request an optional 6-month extension by filling out this form.