In a bid to protect users from installing outdated apps which can put their data at risk, Google has announced to block and hide apps on Play Store that have not kept up with latest Android operating system (OS) updates.
Starting November 1 this year, existing apps that don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release version will not be available for discovery or installation for new users with devices running Android OS versions higher than apps’ target API level.
“As new Android OS versions launch in the future, the requirement window will adjust accordingly,” said Krish Vitaldevara, Director, Product Management.
As part of Google Play’s latest policy updates, the company is taking additional steps to protect users from installing apps that may not have the latest privacy and security features by expanding its target level API requirements.
Google currently 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.
Users with the latest devices or those who are fully caught up on Android updates expect to realise 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,” said Google.
According to the company, a vast majority of apps on Google Play already abide by these standards.
Google said it is notifying developers in advance and providing resources for those who need them.