Target API level requirements for Google Play apps

Every new Android version introduces changes that bring security and performance improvements as well as enhance the user experience of Android overall. Each app has a targetSdkVersion in the manifest file (also known as the target API level) which informs how your app is run on different Android versions.

Configuring your app to target a recent API level ensures that users benefit from security, privacy, and performance improvements, while still allowing your app to run on older Android versions (down to the minSdkVersion).

To provide Android and Google Play users with a safe experience, Google Play requires all apps to meet target API level requirements listed below.

Definitions

New app An app that is not yet published on the Play Store (for example, a brand new app).
App update A new version of an app that is already published on the Play Store.
Existing app A published app that is not receiving updates.

Requirements

Android OS version

When are Google Play apps required to target this API level?
New apps App updates ** Existing apps

Android 12 (API level 31)

August 1, 2022

November 1, 2022

November 1, 2023

Android 11 (API level 30)

August 2, 2021

November 1, 2021

November 1, 2022

Tip: For technical guidance on how to change your app’s target API level to meet these requirements, refer to the migration guide.

Requirements for Wear OS apps

Android OS version

When are Wear OS apps required to target this API level?
New apps App updates ** Existing apps

Android 11 (API level 30)

August 1, 2022

November 1, 2022

No requirement

Android 10 (API level 29)

No requirement

Android 9 (API level 28)

August 1, 2019

November 1, 2019


** To help ease the transition for developers, we give app updates a couple more months than new apps to meet the requirement.

Potential app impact

If your app doesn't meet the required target API level, your apps may be impacted in the following ways: 

App

Impact

New apps

You will not be able to publish app bundles that do not meet the target API level requirement in Play Console.

App updates

You will not be able to submit app bundles or APKs that do not meet the target API level requirement in Play Console.

Existing apps

Your app will not be available on Google Play to new users with devices running Android OS versions newer than your app’s target API level. This means that new users will not be able to discover or install your app from Google Play.

Users who have previously installed your app from Google Play will continue to be able to discover, re-install, and use your app. They will still have access to your app even if they move to a new Android device.


To help ease the transition for developers, we give app updates a couple more months than new apps to meet the requirement.

Frequently asked questions

What if I need more time to make this update for all of my existing apps?

We understand that some developers will need more time to comply, so all developers have until November 1, 2022 to update existing apps. If you need additional time beyond that, you can request an extension in a form that will  be available in Play Console later this year.

This extension will not apply to new apps or new app updates.

I have older apps that I no longer want published on Google Play. What can I do? 

Please refer to this Help Center article for instructions on how to unpublish your app. 

How will my users who already downloaded my previous app be impacted? 

Users who have previously installed the app from Google Play will still be able to discover, re-install, and use the app on any Android OS version that your app supports.

How is this policy update different from the existing target API level requirement? 

Google Play's Target API Level policy adds additional protection for users by encouraging all developers to adopt recent security and permission updates in new Android API levels. The change requires all developers to target recent Android releases in order to distribute existing apps to new users on new devices.

Will this update impact app downloads?  

We don’t have specific guidance to provide. It may impact your app download levels if users on devices with newer Android OS versions cannot discover or download your app from Google Play.

 Will this update impact app review timelines?  

This change will not impact the current app review time, and developers will be able to update their existing apps for ongoing releases. 
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