I have a phone running android 4.4 and the app requires android 5.0 or higher. I want to install this app on android 4.4. Do you have any way, help yourself. Thank you very much.

  • Have you tried to simply contact the app author and ask if it is really necessary to exclude pre-Lollipop devices?
    – Robert
    Mar 31, 2018 at 18:23

5 Answers 5


Sometimes an app has the ability to run on an old device, but there is also something in an app's apk file, indicating the oldest version that can install this app. For example, maybe an app CAN be run on android 4.4 but the author of the app set the minimum supported version to android 5.0.
So it is possible to change it. Afterwards the app might be able to run on old devices, while it may also crash.

An android app downloaded from Google Play or somewhere else is an apk file, which is actually just a zip compressed package, containing multiple files, e.g. dalvik bytecode, pictures, text resources. To learn more about apk file's structure you can just google it. One of the files is AndroidManifest.xml, that was originally a xml file before the author "compile" and publish the app. You don't have to know what is xml but it was "human readable" before being published and become unreadable when the app finally reached you. The AndroidManifest.xml have a line looks like android:minSdkVersion="8" , sdk version 8 means Android version 2.3, sdk version 23 means Android 6.0, search for "android sdk versions" to get a full list. Now however, this line had already been converted to something unreadable. We need something else.

One of those things is apktool, it can "decompile" an xml or even the whole app back to what we can read and edit, then "compile" it back to apk. There're plenty of blogs about how to use apktool so I won't run into details. Using apktool you can decompile the apk, change the minSdkVersion to a very small number or just 1, compile the app back, then install.

1. You have to "sign" the apk after compiling it back. Google for details.
2. You have to uninstall the previously installed version of the app before reinstall the modified one.
3. Do not publish a modified apk, it's illegal.
4. Don't expact too much from this method. The app may still crash.
5. Though I often do this but it's really complicated for non-programmers to do the modification so feel free to ask, and prepare to give up at any moment.

  • Not only publishing a modified app is illegal. Actually modifying an app is illegal, too.
    – Robert
    Mar 31, 2018 at 18:22

there is no way to run to run apps with higher from your android version try old versions of the app and the last option is rooting and it have so so many risk of bricking your phone so using old versions is the best choice


Upgrade the android even I had android 4.3 jelly bean I installed an AOSP for my device. The AOSP was android 7.2.2 nougat.

Now I can enjoy all the app that were not compatible with Android 4.3.

I am answering from the same device, don't worry about getting your device bricked even my device got into bootloop 2 times while installing. I fixed it by flashing with my stock ROM.

Before installing any custom ROM or even before installing custom recovery get the stock ROM for you device as a safer side, if you need any help go to XDA forum and get help from top developers.

Hope that helps..


I have Xperia M (C1905) you can check the official stock ROM for this device the last revision given by Sony was Android's 4.3, But a developer from XDA forum ported AOSP for Xperia M.

Thanks to that guy, If you need some proof I can add some links to the AOSP rom page.


Here's a possible workaround that worked for me with the Google Home app:

  1. The Google Play store recognized the smartphone running Android 4.4.4 and would not install the latest version which required Android 5+.

  2. I found an archived version of the Google Home app on apkmirror and used it to install that supported version using the Adroid Debug Bridge (ADB) from the Android SDK (see: https://www.apkmirror.com/apk/google-inc/google-home/google-home-2-14-50-11-release/google-home-2-14-50-11-3-android-apk-download/download/ )

The basic ADB command is: adb install [PackageName].apk

This assumes you have your smartphone/tablet connected to your computer via a USB connection and the the smartphone/tablet has USB Debug mode enabled to allow a 'push' install from the computer to the device you want to install the app to.


If you're a rooted user, you can simply change your android version by editing the /system/build.prop , for this find the following line and edit the way you want:


where xx is the android version you want, after that restart your device.

If you're not rooted user you can modify the Androidmanifest.xml file of the apk and modify the minSdkVersion, there's alot of tools that do this.

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