Unfortunately, malware attacks are still commonplace on Android phones. It’s true that Google has drastically improved the security of its operating system over the years, but there’s still a lot to do. And a new rumor suggests that Android 14 It would come with an important limitation to one of the most popular functions of the operating system to prevent attacks with malicious software. We are talking, of course, about sideloading.
This does not mean that it cannot be done. sideloading on Android 14; that is, installing applications manually from their APK file. If not that the Californian firm will implement more stringent API requirements to prevent old apps from being installed on the next version of your operating system.
According to collect 9to5Googlea recent code change suggests that Android 14 will completely block the installation of outdated apps. In this way, APKs that do not meet the minimum API level established by Google cannot be installed manually, nor can they be installed through third-party application stores.
If realized, it will be a big change to installing apps from unknown sources, one of the most traditional features of Android. However, the limitation that Californians intend to impose from Android 14 makes sense, and goes hand in hand with the recently applied changes in the Play Store policies.
Let’s not forget that the official app store for the Google OS has modified its guidelines this month. From now on, new applications submitted by developers cannot support versions older than Android 12 (API level 31).
Android 14 would arrive with important changes in the sideloading
The motivation behind the possible limitation to sideloading in Android 14 it is quite evident. Installing apps from unknown sources has historically been the path of choice for malware on mobile phones and tablets running Google software.
For years, attacks have been commonly seen from infected APK files offered on malicious websites or app stores. Something that happened especially when users tried to get the Pro version of a popular app from the Play Store without paying.
It is true that there have also been many cases of malware distributed through the official Google store. But the most serious situations have mostly been caused by installers obtained from untrustworthy sources. In addition, a recurring technique among hackers has been to create infected apps targeting old versions of Android, since this way bypassed security measures required by newer APIs.
It is also a reality that there are still many active devices with old versions of Android. For this reason, the limitations on sideloading Android 14 could be carried over to previous editions of the operating system. In fact, the report cites that Google will be able to “raise the threshold” up to Android 6.0.
If implemented, the upcoming mobile OS developed in Mountain View will be able to deal a heavy blow to malware attacks on the platform. However, it is still striking that the option to limit the sideloading would be optional activation for each manufacturer of phones and tablets. Something that could drastically affect the protection experience between one device or another.