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Android 14 will fight malware by blocking old apps

Android 14 is set to fix a persistent malware problem on the platform by blocking some older apps.

Developers have long been able to circumvent Google Play Store recommendations by targeting their apps to older versions of Android and then simply encouraging users to download the necessary APKs. You can also redownload older apps that you have previously downloaded.

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As 9to5Google Note that Google is going to close this security loophole in the upcoming version of Android 14. The tech giant has published a code change that means that Android 14 will completely block the installation of legacy applications.

This will initially apply to apps targeting very old versions of Android, but the plan is to eventually bring this cut-off point to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). One caveat is that it is likely that individual Android phone manufacturers will enforce this security measure.

This Android 14 tweak should close the current issue that has malware makers targeting older and less secure versions of Android. Expect the first developer previews of Android 14 to start rolling out sometime in March.

However, it will be some time before most Android users can take advantage of these security improvements. Last week, it was revealed that Android 13 only arrived on 5.2% of all Android devices in the five months since its initial rollout.

Surprisingly, this is considered good progress for Google’s mobile OS, which is notoriously slow to get to phones due to its open and modifiable nature and the huge range of hardware specs it can run on. This is why Android 9.0 (Pie) is still running on a whopping 13.2% of Android devices.

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