Android 15 May Make Older Apps Obsolete, Says Report

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A recent report suggests that Android 15, the next version of Google’s operating system for Android devices, could render some existing apps obsolete. It’s rumored that Google will introduce Android 15 later this year. The unveiling of Android 15 Developer Preview 2 on 21st March showcased several new features. Now, there are indications that Google might set higher requirements for apps with the upcoming OS update.

According to a report by Android Police, the software development kit (SDK) requirement has been elevated to a higher version. With each OS update, Google introduces new features, functions, and security measures in the Android ecosystem.

Android 15 May Make Older Apps Obsolete

However, developers are usually given sufficient time to adapt to the latest requirements. Presently, with Android 14, developers are required to target Android 6.0 which was launched in 2015.

Android 6.0 introduced significant changes, such as requiring apps to seek user consent for sensitive permissions, like accessing contacts, call logs, cameras, and more. However, as per the report, the Android 15 DP2 build doesn’t permit the installation of apps targeting Android 6.0-based SDK 23 on devices. Instead, it mandates the SDK version 24, which corresponds to Android 7.1.

In a test, attempting to install an app not updated to SDK 24 on a smartphone running Android 14 was successful. However, the same experiment on an Android 15 DP2-powered Google Pixel 8 Pro resulted in an error message: “INSTALL_FAILED_DEPRECATED_SDK_VERSION.” Even trying to sideload the app prompted a warning that the app was unsafe to install. 

However, the “Install anyway” button didn’t function, and the app couldn’t be installed. Based on these findings, apps still targeting Android 6.0 are likely to become unusable once Android 15 is globally released. It is worth noting that not many apps currently goal SDK 23, as developers strive to align with the newest Android standards.

For those wondering about Android 15’s name, it is just called Android 15. Previously, Google named Android versions with dessert codenames, but they stopped doing so after the release of Android 10. Since then, Google has been using only the version number for future releases.

However, Google still uses dessert codenames internally, and Android 15’s internal codename is Vanilla Ice Cream. Google has started testing Android 15 with Developer Previews, but the final release will take a few more months. The tech giant hasn’t announced the exact release date for stable Android 15, but it is likely to arrive in October 2024.

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