Android 14 will completely block the installation of apps intended for outdated versions of the operating system. This can help protect users from many malicious programs.
The Google Play app store has long required app developers to regularly update their apps to meet the latest security requirements.
But, in fact, most of the old apps already downloaded continue to work in newer versions of the operating system; moreover, users can manually install outdated apps using APK files.
In the new Android 14, which is expected to be released in the third quarter of this year, old apps can no longer be installed even via APK. In a recently published code change, it appears that only those apps that have at least Android 8 API support will work in the new version of the operating system.
As 9to5google.com informs, in the beginning, Android 14 devices will be blocked from installing only those apps that are intended for "especially old" versions of Android. Later, it is planned to increase this threshold to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and continue to increase it simultaneously with the release of new versions of the operating system. It's also possible that each device manufacturer will be able to select on its own the threshold of outdated apps that can be installed on its devices.
By blocking the installation of outdated apps, Google wants to prevent the spread of malicious software in its operating system. The thing is, many malicious apps specifically target older versions of Android, and this enables them to bypass protections that are currently only applied to newer apps.
If desired, users will still be able to install outdated apps on their Android 14 devices; but this must be done through the Command Line program. First, most regular users don't know how to do this. Second, it is unlikely that someone will accidentally or mistakenly install an outdated and potentially dangerous app.