Although the official version of Android 13 has just been launched and a large number of smartphones have not yet been updated to this version, Google is already planning Android 14. According to 9to5Google, Android 14 will implement stricter app installation restrictions to ensure the security of users’ phones.
The changes were discovered from a code change (now hidden) from AOSP, Android 14 will completely prevent the installation of apps with an API level that is too low. This applies not only to apps in the Play Store but even to third-party stores and apk installation packages. This helps prevent some malicious software from using low-level APIs to bypass system protection measures and improves the security of devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Of course, Google will not set this restricted version too high at the beginning, it will only block specific old versions of the application, and over time, the restricted level will gradually increase to Android 6.0, API level 23. For reference, the current mainstream Android 12 has an API level of 31. If an app wants to list in the Play Store, its API level is required to be 29 (Android 10) and above.
However, Google did not explain how the promotion mechanism of this restriction level works. It is very likely that the switch of this function is still determined by the device manufacturer. In addition, even if this restriction is turned on, Google still provides the ADB command line to install those restricted outdated applications. After all, those who are proficient in operating the command line are basically experienced users or developers, and the probability of them installing malware by mistake is too low.