Sat. May 18th, 2024


Apps must target newer Android versions to run on Android 15.

Android has a huge, huge problem with platform segmentation, which is made even worse by some apps. Some app developers don’t really care that much about targeting newer Android versions, or at least not immediately, thinking that it’s not a priority. The problem is even worse considering there’s a lot of apps being used today that still target ancient Android versions, with Google doing little to nothing to prevent it. Now, with Android 15, Google is going to tighten up things for developers.



As noted by Mishaal Rahman on our sister site Android Police, Google is tightening things up when it comes to the apps that the operating system allows to install. More specifically, Android 15 doesn’t allow users to install apps that target an SDK lower than SDK 24. SDK 24 corresponds to Android 7.0 Nougat, which means that apps that target Android 6.0 Marshmallow or an older version of Android can’t be installed on Android 15. It’s still possible to force install apps that target a lower Android version with ADB commands, but by default, the operating system will not allow these apps to be installed or sideloaded in any way.


This follows a trend that was started by Android 14. The current version of Google’s operating system blocks the installation of apps that target SDK 22 (Android 5.1 Lollipop) or lower. Following this logic, then, Android 16 next year should be blocking apps that target Android 7.0, and Android 17 should block apps targeting Android 8.0 in 2026. It’s important to note here that the target SDK is not the same thing as the minimum SDK. An app can target Android 15 but still work on much older versions of Android if the minimum SDK allows it. Google here is after apps that target older versions of Android and don’t bother targeting newer ones—either because they want to evade new system restrictions/requirements on newer Android versions or because they’re just not updated as frequently/thoroughly as they should be.

Unless Google gets rid of this before the final version of Android 15 is released, which is unlikely, then you’ll have to say goodbye to Android Marshmallow-era apps. And if you’re a developer, do your users a big one and update your apps.


Source: Android Police



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By John P.

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