With Google’s next-generation operating system, Android 14, set to be officially released, there will be mandatory leaks surrounding the new Android version, and the most recent information that has emerged discusses the new security feature, which will make sideloading apps difficult.
According to a recently posted code change, Android 14 will be tougher on outdated apps and will prohibit users from sideloading them. It is said that it will impose stricter API requirements to prevent the download of older apps. It will also prevent such apps from being installed in app stores. The Play Store guidelines currently require apps to be at least Android 12.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “sideloading apps,” it simply refers to downloading from app stores other than the Google Play Store.
Android 14 will further restrict outdated apps by focusing on extremely old Android versions. It will eventually be upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, with Google providing “a mechanism to gradually ramp [it] up.”
Google hopes to reduce the spread of malware apps on Android by doing so. According to the developer behind this change, malware-laden apps tend to target older Android versions, and this effort could help to reduce this. However, it will be up to OEMs to determine the threshold for this and whether or not to enable it. While this will not completely prevent malware from infecting Android users, it will help to slow its spread.