Android 15 could refuse to install certain apps


Android 15 could refuse to install certain apps

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Android 15, which will debut later in 2024, may block the installation of some apps.

The internally code-named “Vanilla Ice Cream” mobile OS is already here via the first and second developer previews (DP1 and DP2) that were released on February 16 and March 21, respectively. The second developer preview (DP2) was released on 21 March 2024.

Right now – on Android 14 – you can run apps that are “targeting” Android 6.0 at a minimum. Why Android 6.0? Well, because Android 6.0 introduced a significant change regarding app permissions, marking a pivotal moment for user privacy. Prior to Android 6.0, users would grant permissions to apps at the time of installation.

This meant that if an app listed certain permissions in its manifest (like access to your contacts, location, or storage), agreeing to install the app meant you automatically agreed to all those permissions. Users were not fully aware of what they were agreeing to, or the implications of these permissions, since all permissions were granted upfront, without context or an understanding of how they would be used.

With Android 6.0 (codename: Marshmallow), Google shifted to a more user-friendly and privacy-focused approach by introducing runtime permissions. This change meant that instead of granting all permissions at once during app installation, users would be prompted to grant permissions individually, in context, at the time the app actually needed to use that specific feature.

For example, if a photo app wanted to access your device’s camera, it would only ask for that permission when you tried to take a picture within the app, not at the moment of installation.

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On to the next question: what’s “targeting”? In Android app development, “targeting” is like telling your app which version of Android it’s specifically designed to work best with.

By targeting Android 6.0, you ensure that your app is compatible with devices running Android 6.0 and newer. This doesn’t prevent the app from running on newer Android versions, but it indicates that you’ve tested your app and confirmed it works without issues on Android 6.0.

Android Police reports that Android 15 is pulling the plug on apps built for Android Marshmallow, meaning that it won’t allow users to install apps that are targeted for Android 6.0.

Now, the new bar is Android 7.0, a.k.a. Android Nougat:

In reality, you should be just fine with your current apps on Android 15.

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