Hadley Simmons / Android Authority
- In the name of security, Google will start hiding the old app in the Play Store this year.
- If you have used apps before, you will still have access to ৷
- New users, however, will be unable to find or install them from the Play Store.
There are many apps in the Google Play Store. According to Statista, the official Android App Store has about 3.5 million applications. Chances are a lot of these apps are out of date.
In most cases, an old app does little harm to your phone or tablet. In some cases, though, it could be, and Google wants to make things more secure for Android users That’s why, from November 2022, Google will keep old apps hidden from new users.
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Now, if you rely on an older application, don’t worry: you’ll still be able to use it. In fact, you can still see it in the Play Store, and even if you delete your phone or switch to a new device, you’ll be able to reinstall it after reinstalling it. However, if you never use an app that Google thinks is outdated, it won’t show up in the Play Store if you go looking for it.
In particular, this will apply to Android apps that do not target an Android API version in the current two years. In other words, apps that target today will be blocked from new users of Android 10 or earlier. With the launch of the new version of Android, the two-year window will move forward accordingly.
Older apps: Why is Google changing this?
Google summarizes its rationale for this change:
Users of sophisticated devices or those who are fully involved in the Android update hope that they will realize the full potential of all the privacy and security that Android has to offer. Expanding our goal level API requirements will protect users from installing older apps that may not have these protections.
App developers who keep pace with this policy change fall entirely on their shoulders. Most devs update their apps frequently, so this won’t be a problem for most apps and games in the Play Store. Even devs who have incredibly old apps still jump in every year to update them to target the latest version of Android.
Still, there’s no doubt that some deadly old apps will go backwards with this conversion. Fortunately, if you have an old app you will still have sideloading to get it.