Android 14 to fight malware by blocking old apps

Android 14 is set to quell the platform’s persistent malware issue by blocking some older apps.

Developers have long been able to circumvent Google’s Play Store guidelines by targeting their apps to older versions of Android, then simply urging users to download the necessary APK. It is also possible to re-download outdated apps that you have already downloaded.

As 9to5Google points out, Google is set to close this security hole in the upcoming Android 14. The tech giant has released a code change that means Android 14 will completely block the installation of outdated apps.

At first, this will affect apps that target very old versions of Android, but the plan is to eventually bring this cutoff point to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). One caveat is that it will likely be up to individual Android phone manufacturers to enforce this security measure.

This Android 14 tweak should fix a current issue that sees malware makers targeting older, less secure versions of Android. Expect the first developer previews of Android 14 to start rolling out in March.

However, it will be some time before most Android users benefit from these security improvements. Last week, it emerged that Android 13 had only reached 5.2% of all Android devices in the five months since its initial rollout.

Surprisingly, this is seen as good progress for Google’s mobile operating system, which is notoriously slow to trickle down to phones thanks to its open and moddable nature, as well as the wide range of hardware specs that can support it. ‘execute. That’s why Android 9.0 (Pie) still works on 13.2% of Android devices.