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Google Play will soon hide old and outdated apps

Google is adding a new requirement for app developers on the Play Store, and if they don’t comply by updating their app to work with the latest version of Android, they risk being completely hidden from all users, and by extension unable to get their app downloaded at all.


According to the Android Developer Blog, this decision to make apps undetectable is made in an effort to prevent oblivious users from installing apps that haven’t been maintained for years or that might have been created and released as source of malicious intent. then later abandoned.

Starting November 1, 2022, existing apps that do not target an API level within two years of the last major release of Android will no longer be available for discovery or installation for new users with devices running versions of the Android operating system higher than the applications target API. level. As new versions of the Android operating system are released, the requirements window will adjust accordingly.

Android Developer Blog

Luckily, most apps on the Play Store already meet Google’s requirements, and most aren’t out to steal user data, but this idea of ​​hiding old or outdated apps should have been around years ago, if you ask me. It’s great, and I’m glad they’re implementing it now rather than later. By the way, if you’ve already installed older apps that will now be hidden from other users, you’ll still see them appear and can reinstall them at any time. Essentially, you are allowed to see them while others cannot.

The company has a technical guide for developers looking to migrate their app to meet the Play Store’s target API level requirements, and there’s a Help Center article on that as well. Plus, if you’re a developer and can’t meet the deadline, you can actually request an additional six months of leeway to migrate your app comfortably. A form will be available in your Developer Play Console later this year, so stay tuned if you fit into that category.