Google Play is main the best way in its battle on outdated, un-updated apps. The Play Retailer has had a minimal rolling stage for Android model assist for a while; Builders should use a “goal API stage” that may be a 12 months or extra previous, or they are going to be unable to replace their apps. Now, Google is saying a rolling second minimal—if an app’s goal API stage is 2 years previous, the app can be hidden from Play Retailer listings. Which means customers looking for new apps to put in won’t see the deserted apps.
Android’s “Goal API Degree” system is sort of a backwards-compatibility setting for Android apps. Every new model of Android is recognized by a brand new API stage, which matches up one after the other with every launch. Presently, Android 12L is API stage 32, and Android 13 can be API stage 33. Each model of Android comes with new options and safety restrictions for app builders, however as a result of Google would not wish to break older apps with each launch, the API stage system permits app builders to “goal” the model of Android with options and restrictions. underneath which they wish to run.
Goal API stage has nothing to do with the minimal The model of Android an app will run on (the second main app setting could be “Minimal API Degree”); It merely lets apps say, “I’ve coded with compatibility for Android 12 options and restrictions, in the event that they’re obtainable.” On this case, the app could have entry to Android 12 options and Android 12 safety restrictions will apply, and can run usually on older variations.
Earlier than Google applied these Play Retailer restrictions, the goal API stage was a voluntary system. Concentrating on a low API stage was a viable technique for a developer like Fb, who most likely would not care about new options and desires to run underneath as few restrictions as doable. Malware will even goal decrease API ranges. Google Play’s Goal API guidelines, which launched in 2018, be certain that new restrictions are utilized to probably malicious and data-hungry apps within the Play Retailer.
The brand new guidelines will come into impact from November 1, 2022. At that time, Android 13 (API stage 33) needs to be the newest model. The Play Retailer will cease accepting app updates that do not goal at the least Android 12 (API stage 31), which can be one 12 months previous, although these apps will nonetheless seem on the Play Retailer as regular. With the brand new rule, Play Retailer will even conceal apps that don’t goal at the least Android 11 (API stage 30), which is 2 years previous. Builders can replace their apps to the supported model to take away the restrictions.
Non-compliant apps “won’t be obtainable for discovery or set up by new customers with gadgets operating an Android OS model larger than the appliance’s goal API stage.” Customers who beforehand put in an app will nonetheless be capable of discover and set up it once more, however new consumer acquisition can be turned off. Additionally be aware that hiding solely occurs when you’re operating a model of Android that is newer than the previous app you are attempting to obtain.
In consequence, solely apps which can be supported by the developer ought to seem in Google Play search outcomes and class lists, which makes it simpler to search out high-quality apps. Builders have two years to replace their apps, and that is not even counting the eight months of heads-up they get from Android’s public developer preview program. Evidently solely essentially the most uncared for, deserted apps can be hidden from the Play Retailer.