Spotted in now private code, it seems Android 14 won’t play well with outdated apps. In what is being reported as a plan to curb malware targeting outdated Android apps, Google may have very strict app installation requirements starting with Android 14.
While this makes sense, it’s big news in our eyes, as this change could affect a very basic one as well position of Android – that’s the ability to install any app you want through sideloading. According to the code, Android 14 can block the installation of any app, whether it’s from Google Play or sideloaded, if it doesn’t meet API requirements.
The way app installation works now is relatively loose. For example, even if an app is out of date but the user previously installed it, it will still be available on Google Play as long as it has not been pulled from Google’s servers. The same goes for sideloading. At this point, you should have no problem sideloading almost any app you want, but with this change and if your device is running Android 14, it looks like the app should target Android 6.0+ (Marshmallow) at the very least. The code apparently made it clear that Google could also ramp up the restrictions at any time.
For me, I don’t go around downloading and sideloading random apps anymore. Those days are long behind me. However, I know there are still plenty of people who do, and with that being said, I would ask that you remain vigilant and make sure you only download and install apps from trusted sources.