Google Play Plans to Hide Obsolete Apps to Protect Users

Apps have their lifespans too. They are born, they grow with updates, and one day they start growing old. Some of them are killed by publishers, but many remain on stores as abandonware. The newest initiative by Google addresses this issue: it will just hide obsolete apps from search on devices too fresh for them.

What are the problems with old apps? First, they may appear just incompatible with your device. Second, they may have security issues that negatively impact your sensitive data, other apps, or the entire device. Given how much about security the recent Android updates are, this is a real concern that Google addresses with the updated policy

The main requirements for the apps to remain actual on Google Play is the support for the API no more than one version behind the latest. Or, in other words, the API level within two years from the latest major update. According to Google, absolutely most apps that are on Google Play now completely comply with these new conditions. 

The updated policy will be implemented on November 1, 2022. Until this date, the developers have time to update their apps unless they decide to completely abandon them. If they decide to keep supporting their apps, they will have to refresh them after each major Android update.                          

Still, these apps won’t be removed from Google Play completely, and for a reason. As the recent stats show, almost 40% Android users are still on Android 9.0 or earlier versions. For them, the apps that Google sees as obsolete are sometimes, on the contrary, the only way out. And if the OS update is impossible on these, extra measures will hardly make sense either.

Are you still using any old apps that hasn’t got updated for years? Did such an app ever cause you any trouble? Do you miss any app or game that unfortunately grew obsolete? Let’s share out stories in the comments!