Target API level requirements for Google Play apps

To help make target API level deadlines clearer, we are unifying the dates to 31 August every year.

Starting on 31 August 2023:

  • New apps must target Android 13 (API level 33) or higher; except for Wear OS apps, which must target Android 11 (API level 30) or up to Android 13 (API level 33).
  • Existing apps must target API level 31 or above to remain available to users on devices running Android OS higher than your app's target API level. Apps that target API level 30 or below (target API level 29 or below for Wear OS), will only be available on devices running Android OS the same or lower than your apps’ target API level.
If you need more time to update your app, you'll be able to request an extension until 1 November 2023. In early August, if affected, you will be able to access your app's extension forms in Play Console, via the Policy status page, and click through to the relevant warning or issue.

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.

Exceptions to these requirements include the following:

  • Permanently private apps that are restricted to users in a specific organisation and intended for internal distribution only. 
  • Apps that target automotive form factor and are bundled within the same package will remain discoverable to all Google Play users.

Definitions

New app An app that is not yet published on Google Play (for example, a brand new app).
Existing app An app that is published on Google Play.
App update A new version of the app that you’re submitting for review to replace your existing app.

App update requirements

Android OS version
(API level)

When are new app and app update submissions required to target this API level?
New apps App updates

Android 13 (API level 33)*

31 August 2023

31 August 2023

Android 12 (API level 31)

31 August 2022

1 November 2022

*To help ease the transition for developers, developers will be able to request an extension to 1 November.

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

Wear OS app requirements

Android OS version (API level)

When are Wear OS app submissions required to target this API level?
New apps App updates
Android 11 (API level 30) (no change) 1 August 2022 1 November 2022

App availability requirements

Currently, existing apps (across mobile, Android Auto and Android TV) must target API level 31 or above by 31 August 2023 (target API 30 or up API level 33 for Wear OS). Otherwise, they will stop being discoverable to all Google Play users whose devices run Android OS versions newer than your app’s target API level, as your app wasn’t built to meet the safety and quality standards that these users expect from newer Android OS versions.

  • Apps with a target level of Android 11 (API level 30)* or lower will not be available to new users running the Android OS higher than the apps’ target API after 31 August 2023.
  • Apps with a target level of Android 10 (API level 29) or lower have not been available to new users running the Android OS higher than the apps’ target API after 1 November 2022, or 1 May 2023, if your app had an extension.

*To help ease the transition, developers will be able to request an extension until 1 November 2023. In early August, if you are affected, you'll be able to access your app's extension forms in Play Console, via the Policy status page, by clicking through to the relevant issue.


What to do to comply

New apps

Existing apps

When you publish a new app, you must target API 33 or above.

If your existing app’s target API level is 31 or above, then your app is compliant with this policy.

If your existing app’s target is below API 31, it will stop being available to all Google Play users whose devices run Android OS versions newer than your apps’ target API levels, as your app wasn’t built to meet the safety and quality standards that these users expect from newer Android OS versions.

  • If you plan to update this app to a higher target API level, you can submit an extension request to continue getting distributed to all users on Google Play until 1 November 2023. Impacted apps will receive policy warnings and inbox messages in Play Console, and you’ll be able to access the extension request form from within the details page of the warning or issue, accessed via the Policy status page.
When you update your app, you must target API 33 or above.


Wear OS requirements

New apps

Existing apps

When you publish a new app, you must target API 30 or up to Android 13 (API level 33).

If your existing app’s target API level is 30, or up to Android 13 (API level 33), then your app is compliant with this policy.

If your existing app’s target is below API 30, it will stop being available to all Google Play users whose devices run Android OS versions newer than your apps’ target API levels, as your app wasn’t built to meet the safety and quality standards that these users expect from newer Android OS versions.

  • If you plan to update this app to target API level 30, you can submit an extension request to continue getting distributed to all users on Google Play until 1 November 2023. Impacted apps will receive policy warnings and inbox messages in Play Console, and you’ll be able to access the extension request form from within the details page of the warning or issue, accessed via the Policy status page.
When you update your app, you must target API 30 or up to Android 13 (API level 33).

Frequently asked questions

For apps targeting API 30 or below

I have a live app on Google Play that targets API 30 or lower (for Wear OS, app targeting API 29 or lower), that I do not plan to update. What are my options?

If you want to continue to serve this app to your existing users, you do not need to do anything. However, your app will not be available in Google Play to new users on devices running Android OS newer than what your app targets. It will be available only to Google Play users with devices running Android OS with an API level of your app or lower.

By 31 August 2023, your app must meet this target API level requirement, otherwise, it will stop being discoverable to all Google Play users whose devices run Android OS versions newer than your app’s target API level.

If you plan to update your app to a newer target API and need more time beyond 31 August, you may request an extension to continue distributing to all Google Play users until 1 November. An extension form will be available later this year in the Play Console.

If you want to stop serving your app to new users even on older devices, you can unpublish your app.

Where can I find the extension form to continue distributing to all Google Play users until 1 November 2023?

Only apps that are not compliant with the policy will receive policy warnings and inbox messages in Play Console. The extension form is available through the details page of the warning or issue on the Policy status page in Play Console.

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

For instructions on how to unpublish your app, see Update or 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.

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.

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 is targeting API 30 or lower?

Google Play will inform the user that 'this app is not available to install on their device because it was made for an older version of Android'.

Are there any exceptions for existing apps targeting API 30 or below?

Yes. We provide exceptions for permanently private apps that are restricted to users in a specific organisation and intended for internal distribution only and apps that target Android Automotive OS form factor are also exempted.

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