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I have some older paid apps, mainly games, which I bought through Play Store. These older apps won't meet the requirement of targetSdk >=23 from Android 14:

  • Minesweeper Pro (com.xxstudio.minesweeperpro): Target SDK 3
  • CopyPasteKeyboard Unlocker (com.crane.keyboard.unlock) which is an unlocker for CopyPasteKeyboard (com.crane.keyboard): Both have target SDK 4
  • Guess-Free Minesweeper (com.fstolt.minesweeper): Target SDK 8
  • Call Log Backup And Restore Pro (com.riteshsahu.CallLogBackupRestorePro): Target SDK 21

As the apps are paid apps, it's going to be hard for me to get them in APK format for me to use --bypass-low-target-sdk-block in order to install them on Android 14.

So is there any way for me to install such apps on Android 14?

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    Why do you think Riptide GP2 is an old app? It has been updated in Play store last month. AFAIR at the moment you can not upload updates with a targetSDK of less than 30.
    – Robert
    Jun 9, 2023 at 7:22
  • @Robert you are right, I gave a bad example there as I hadn't noticed the update. I have added more examples and have checked all of them to make sure there is no update available.
    – Kidburla
    Jun 9, 2023 at 20:07
  • Just for clarification, are you still able to see them on Play Store? I just checked "Minesweeper Pro", and it seems it has been unpublished (HTTP 404 for those who have never installed it).
    – Andrew T.
    Jun 9, 2023 at 20:28
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    @AndrewT. yes I can confirm I can still see the app. when I open its Play Store page, it appears as normal. I think this is typical for apps that have not been updated for a long time; if you'd previously bought them, you can still see them. Of course, for new users it would be hidden as it doesn't meet Google Play's minimum targetSdk requirement.
    – Kidburla
    Jun 11, 2023 at 20:25

1 Answer 1

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It appears that installing of old apps is banned on Android 14. This includes trying to install them from other places than PlayStore.

The biggest news is that Android 14 will block the installation of old Android apps. As Android changes over the years, new APIs and increased security, privacy, or background processing restrictions could break old apps, but Android's backward-compatibility system keeps these old apps running. Apps can declare the newest version of Android they support via a "Target SDK" flag.

To prevent old apps from breaking, new features and app restrictions in, say, Android 12 only apply to apps that target Android 12 or above. Older apps will continue to run with the older set of restrictions they're used to. (A different setting, called "Minimum SDK," determines if a new app can run on an old Android OS.) The system works great for honest developers, but if you're building a piece of malware, it's an easy decision to target a very old version of Android. While you'll get access to fewer features, you'll also be subject to fewer security and privacy restrictions.

From Android 14 Preview 1 is out, will officially ban installation of old apps

A change coming with Android 14 will impose restrictions on the apps that smartphone users can install on their devices, even if they’re sideloading software rather than installing it through the Play Store.

Google’s change should help stop the spread of malware that takes advantage of exploits found in older builds of its Android OS, though if you’re a frequent sideloader it may make it a little harder to use non-Play Store apps.

From Android 14 could stop you from installing older apps – and that’s a good thing

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  • That's correct, and that's the entire reason why I asked this question. Unfortunately, your answer does not answer my question, it does not say anything about paid apps.
    – Kidburla
    Jul 28, 2023 at 15:29

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