Google is cracking down on out-of-date applications as the company has revealed plans to restrict the availability of obsolete applications on the Play Store.
Beginning November 1st, all current apps in the market must strive for an API (Application Programming Interface) level within two years of the most recent major Android OS release. If they don’t, Google says it will limit the number of people who can find and install them.
The modifications are intended to guarantee that software accessible via the Play Store makes use of Android’s most recent privacy and security features.
In a blog post, Google product management director Krish Vitaldevara writes that device users “expect to achieve the full potential of all the privacy and security precautions Android has to offer.” He adds, “By broadening our target level API requirements, we will prevent consumers from installing older apps that may lack these safeguards.”
However, there are a few considerations one should be aware of. To begin with, the limits will only apply when a more latest version of Android is running on the device than the app’s API level. As a result, anyone still using an older version of Android will be able to utilise the applications.
Furthermore, users having the older Android versions will also be able to re-download and install any applications they previously downloaded from the Google Play Store, according to Google.
Developers can seek a six-month extension if their app does not meet the November 1st deadline.
For new and updated apps submitted to the Play Store for approval, Google already has a similar approach in place. To get an app published, it must target an API level that is less than a year old from the latest major Android OS update. This new policy extends coverage to existing, or potentially abandoned, apps on the Play Store, rather than only those that are actively getting updates.