Google will soon stop recommending outdated apps on Play Store

Play Store
(Image credit: senengmotret /

Google will soon start hiding applications that are not updated and do not support the latest Android functionalities from the Play Store.

The company has announced that starting November 1, it will stop recommending these apps and will stop users from installing them in case the developers have not kept apps aligned with the latest Android OS.

According to the announcement in the official blog post, the company says that this decision will directly impact the applications that “don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release version will not be available for discovery or installation for new users with devices running Android OS versions higher than apps’ target API level.”

Current target API Level requirements for new apps and app updates

Current target API Level requirements for new apps and app updates (Image credit: Google)

This move will not only ensure the hygiene of the Play Store but will also ensure that the applications comply with the privacy and security settings of each Android OS release. It will also result in a safe and better user experience for the end-users.

What it also means is that as a user, if you prefer keeping your mobile updated with the latest Android OS, you’ll not be able to use an older version of an application or game in case you don’t like the latest updates in the app/game. You will also not be able to use such apps in case the developer has decided to stop updating the app altogether regardless of the fact that they are still offering the service/support to the users.

The move, however, will not impact developers who are active and keep offering updates to their applications regularly. Google also says that it will also make sure that new applications that do not meet the above criteria will not be published on the Play Store.

While the current guidelines of the Play Store require new apps to target an Android API within one year of release, the new ruling will primarily help Google declutter the Play store of junk apps.

Just hiding apps won't solve the purpose, though 

The fact that Google has stated that it will “hide” these apps and will not remove them from the Play Store, it also means that a user will still be able to search for the app specifically and download it on compatible Android-powered devices.

While this is good news for a user who has already paid for the application or wants to use the application as long as they are okay with the potential risks involved, it offers an easy workaround and keeps the system vulnerable.

In contrast, Apple sometime back purged such applications making them unavailable on the App Store to download. Back then this was considered a “non-consumer friendly” decision, however, if you’re looking to offer a better user experience and want to ensure privacy and security, then it is indeed a correct step.

Jitendra Soni

Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.