Google Play Store will hide apps that haven’t been updated in years

Google is taking another step to clean up the Play Store. It will hide apps that haven’t been updated for two years after the latest Android operating system was released and prevent users from downloading them. This builds on Google’s existing Play Store requirement that app developers release updates that match that version of the API within a year of the latest Android OS release.

So with Android 12, released last October, developers had until October 2022 to upgrade their apps to the latest version — and now, Google’s new requirements mean that if they wait longer than 2023 In October, their app will not be discoverable in the Play Store or downloaded by users running newer Android versions.

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According to an official Google blog post, users who previously downloaded older apps will be able to install them, but the new requirements will help protect unsuspecting users from potential vulnerabilities in older apps. The new policy won’t go into effect until November 1, 2022, giving developers time to make updates in an orderly manner.

The new requirement is one of several policy updates Google announced today that will take effect later in 2022. In addition to taking down apps that have not been updated for a long time, starting May 11, apps with content that is not “globally appropriate” will also be blocked, such as content that is deemed offensive to users in a specific region and violates the Play Store’s Hate Speech Policy Posting hate speech related to race and immigration, and more.

To further protect users, Google recently removed from the Play Store apps that secretly collected user data, including a QR code reader and highway camera detector, a batch of apps containing malicious code from millions of Android devices Stealing user data, the apps were removed for violating Play Store rules.

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