Jump to content

Android 14 will soon make it harder to sideload apps


Recommended Posts

One of the key advantages of Android is the ability to install third-party app stores and sideload apps, an approach diametrically opposed to iOS’ walled garden. While most users still install their apps through the Google Play Store, this added flexibility is a boon to pro users, enabling them to run homebrew apps without needing Google’s express approval and roll back updates as needed. But it looks like Android 14 will soon curtail that freedom significantly.


According to 9to5Google, a newly-posted code change for this year’s version of Android has outlined stricter API requirements that will block outdated apps from being installed entirely. This will not only bar third-party apps stores from installing those apps but also disallow users from sideloading them.


While Android 14 will initially only block apps that target “especially old” Android versions—the report does not mention which exact versions—the plan is to increase that threshold to Android 6 (Marshmellow), with Google said to have a mechanism to “progressively ramp [it] up.” However, it appears that the company may not enforce the threshold and could simply leave it up to the specific device maker.

If the minimum installable SDK version enforcement is enabled, block the install of apps using a lower target SDK version than required. This helps improve security and privacy as malware can target older SDK versions to avoid enforcement of new API behavior.


The move was done ostensibly to curb the spread of malware apps on Android; the developer responsible for the code change said that some malware apps have deliberately targeted older versions of Android to bypass certain protections only enforced on newer apps.


This additional protection goes hand-in-hand with guidelines Google has on its own Play Store that mandate apps to remain updated to use the latest features and safety measures of the newest Android versions. These were updated this month, requiring newly-listed apps to target a minimum of Android 12. Apps developed for older versions can only be installed by sideloading them.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Mugentech.net uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using this site you agree to Privacy Policy