Google’s crackdown on apps that don’t target a recent API level could result in as many as a quarter of available apps being removed from the Google Play Store. That’s based on recent reports following an analysis by analyst firm Pixalate.
According to Pixalate, just short of 900,000 apps on the Google Play Store don’t target the appropriate API and haven’t been updated in more than two years. Both of which are requisites for keeping apps on the Play Store, according to Google. Various firms have reported that there are around three-and-a-half million apps on the Google Play Store. So around a quarter of the apps on the Google Play Store could be removed as part of the crackdown.
Developers still have time to prevent their apps from being removed from the Play Store ahead of the crackdown
Google’s upcoming policy implementation, taking place starting November 1, disallows apps that don’t target an API level from the past two years. That’s the API level corresponding to Android versions that have been released. So, summarily, apps that don’t target a released version that’s less than two years old.
As of this month, apps would need to target API 29 to continue existing on the Google Play Store. That’s the API for Android 10
However, Google will be releasing Android 13 at some point in the next several months. Presumably, based on previous releases, sometime this fall. And that will fall right around the time of the implementation of the new policy. Moving the API level that needs to be met forward a version. Apps that don’t meet the requirement will be removed or hidden from users with devices that do correspond to recent API levels.
Other restrictions will be in place with the policy change as well. Such as new limitations on what permissions apps can request, coinciding with the release of Android 13 and new permissions changes in that update.
Developers will also be able to request an extension from Google of six months in order to update apps accordingly.
Apple developers aren’t safe from incoming changes to policies either
Google isn’t the only platform owner looking to give the boot to apps that don’t comply with policy changes either. Apple is looking to remove apps that haven’t seen an update in at least two years, too. And that could result in as many as 650,000 apps being removed outright from that market. Bringing the total number of apps that could potentially be removed from the world of apps to over 1.5 million in the next several months.