Google Play Store would be Hiding Outdated Apps in The Name of Security very soon. Even though it has millions of apps right in its library, The Google Play Store is not something that Android users would consider a shining example of a mobile marketplace.
A great amount of these apps include blatant clones of popular games, while some seem to just offer crude functionality just for the sake of having an app get uploaded right to the store.
Also, there are a number of potentially harmful apps or PHAs that get through the cracks of Google’s AI-powered security system. There are apps that at the moment now offer a decent set of features and are totally innocent but that have been abandoned by their developers for whichever reason.
Google Play Store would be Hiding Outdated Apps in The Name of Security
According to Google, these apps are a problem to security, and it is just a matter of time before something happens via them, so it would soon be hiding them from view without actually taking out their listings. Fortunately, there’s no reason for you to panic at the moment, especially if the developers get to take action now before Google completely closes the doors on these apps.
All-new Android releases bring about what developers call the API level, a number that correlates to the state of the Android platform for that release. New API levels naturally bring in some additional features and bug fixes, but they might also drop features that have been existing before from time to time. Google is now recommending that developers should aim at a minimum API level that advances every release. Any app that does not meet up with that recommendation would be considered outdated.
Starting on the 1st of November, 2022, Google would enforce a policy that will go on outdated apps from being discovered via search and installed by new users that have installed the product before. The policy specifically defines outdated apps as ones that are aimed at API level within two years of the latest major Android release.
Immediately the policy takes effect this year, Android 13 would be released, so only apps that target Android 10 or 11 and above would meet those requirements. Every year those numbers get to move forward, so it means developers would be forced to perform updates to their app every year if they only target the bare minimum requirement.
A Firm Security Stance
This sounds more like a heavy-handed policy, but Google would be justifying it by appealing to fears regarding security. In theory, an app that has not been updated for quite a while or that is aimed at an older release of Android will still have security holes that might have already been fixed.
Google at the moment is trying to force the hands of developers to update their apps or fall under the risk of getting delisted, which is basically the same as getting your app taken out of the store. Any app that does not meet the deadline would most likely be placed under the consideration of being an abandoned app anyway.
Google Focused on Newer Android Version
This scenario is not clean-cut, because there might still be some valid reasons why some developers would not choose to move onto a much newer Android version. That is often the case when Google decides to remove a feature or change a policy that the app requires to work.
With that stated the November deadline is still half a year away, and the Apps only get to turn invisible for those that are yet to install them at least once. If you want to get some old Android Apps on your device, this is a good time to do it.