Android 14 Will Automatically Block Apps Built For Ancient Android Versions
Apps Still Built For Android 5 Are Often Malware Apparently
If you have a favourite ancient app, which hasn’t been updated since before 2015, there is a good chance they will stop working once you update to Android 14, aka Upside Down Cake. The decision was made to automatically block these apps to help increase the security of your phone, or at least remove a vector of attack. These ancient apps likely have unpatched vulnerabilities, but that is not the main reason to prevent them from loading.
It seems that there are some people out there still crafting new apps for Android 5 and before because of those security issues. It turns out that a measurable amount of them are doing so specifically to use those vulnerabilities to create new malware to distribute to Google Play users. One might suggest that Google could do a better job of vetting the apps they distribute instead of a blanket block, but we simply don’t live in that type of world.
If you do have an ancient app you love and want to keep, you are still able to via the command shell. There is a link at Slashdot describing the new flag, if you have a login to the Android Open Source Project.
To help reduce the potential for malware, Android 14 will begin fully blocking the installation of apps that target outdated versions of Android.