In 2023, Google will release Android 14, its next-generation operating system. There will be mandatory leaks around the new Android version before anything official comes out. The latest information discusses a new security feature that makes sideloading apps more complex.
Google will Restrict Outdated Apps in Android 14.
In 14, users will be restricted from sideloading outdated apps, according to a recently posted code change (via 9To5Google). The Play Store guidelines require apps to have at least Android 12. More challenging API requirements will be enforced to prevent downloading outdated apps. App stores will be prohibited from installing such apps as well.
Sideloading apps means downloading them from app stores other than the Google Play Store.
By targeting older Android versions, Android 14 will further block outdated or sideloading apps. It will eventually migrate to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and Google will have a mechanism to ramp it up gradually.
With the new update in effect, Android users will remain safeguarded against malware that frequently comes packaged with older apps that are sideloaded. According to the developer behind this change, malware-laden apps target older Android versions, so that this effort might curb this trend. However, OEMs will have to decide whether they want to enable this. It won’t stop malware from infecting Android users entirely, but it can still slow its spread.
To compete with Apple’s recent iPhone 14 series, Google recently announced that its next Android version, most likely Android 14, will support satellite communication in no-network areas.