Android 15 could block some of the apps that are currently on the Google Play Store or available in third-party marketplaces, as per a report. Google is rumoured to bring the next generation of its operating system for Android devices in the latter half of 2024. With the release of the Android 15 Developer Preview 2 on March 21, several new features were showcased. Now, a report suggests that Google could raise the minimum requirement for apps with the upcoming OS update.

A report by Android Police highlighted that the software development kit (SDK) requirement was changed and now supported a higher version. With every new OS update, Google adds new features and security parameters to the Android ecosystem. However, it gives developers enough time to catch up to the latest requirements. For instance, currently, on Android 14, developers are asked to target Android 6.0 or Marshmallow, which was released in 2015.

That OS was significant as it required apps to obtain consent from users for sensitive permissions separately such as access to camera, address book, call logs, and more. But now, the report found that the Android 15 DP2 build is not allowing apps that target Android 6.0-based SDK 23 to be installed on devices. Instead, it is now asking for SDK version 24 which is Android 7.1.

Running a test of trying to install an app that was not brought up to SDK 24, the report found that a smartphone running Android 14 was able to easily install and run it. However, when the experiment was conducted on the Android 15 DP2-powered Google Pixel 8 Pro, an error popped up which stated “INSTALL_FAILED_DEPRECATED_SDK_VERSION”. Even when attempting to sideload the app, the OS popped up a message saying the app was unsafe to install.

The message is not new and sideloading apps generally prompt that alert. However, the surprising part was that the Install anyway button that shows up afterwards did not do anything and the app was not able to be installed. Based on the findings, it appears that apps that are still targeting Android 6.0 are likely to stop working after Android 15 is released globally. However, it is noted that not many apps today target SDK 23 as developers try to increase the app version to the latest Android standard.

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