Target API level requirements for Google Play apps

Every new Android version introduces changes that enhance the user experience, security and performance of the Android platform overall. Each app specifies a targetSdkVersion (also known as the target API level) in the manifest file. The target API level indicates how your app is meant to 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 an app to run on older Android versions (down to the specified 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 Google Play (for example, a brand new app).
Updated app A new version of an app that is already published on Google Play.
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 app Updated app ** Existing app

Android 13 (API level 33)

1 August 2023

1 November 2023

1 November 2024

Android 12 (API level 31)

1 August 2022

1 November 2022

1 November 2023

Android 11 (API level 30)

1 August 2021

1 November 2021

1 November 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 app Updated app ** Existing app

Android 11 (API level 30)

1 August 2022

1 November 2022

No requirement

Android 10 (API level 29)

No requirement

Android 9 (API level 28)

1 August 2019

1 November 2019


** To help ease the transition for developers, we give updated apps more time than new apps to meet the requirement.

Potential app impact

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

App

Impact of not meeting target API level requirement

New app

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

Updated app

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

Existing app

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 updated apps 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 may need more time to comply, so developers with existing apps on Google Play will have until 1 November 2022 to update their existing apps. If you need additional time beyond that to migrate your app to a newer Android API, you can request a one-off 6-month deadline extension in Play Console starting 3 October 2022.
The extension will only apply to existing apps. This does not apply to the regular upload requirement.

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

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

How will my users who have already downloaded my app previously be impacted? 

Users who have previously installed the app from Google Play will not be impacted and 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?  

It may impact your app download levels if new 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. 

What will the user experience be if a user on a newer device visits a deep link to the app store page, but the app doesn’t meet the target API level requirement?

Google Play will inform the user that this app is not available to install on their device. 
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