Daily Authority: 👀 Bye-bye sideloading (sort of)

👙 Good morning and welcome to Tuesday’s Daily Authority! This week we’re having a bit of a heatwave in Scotland, with a balmy 10°C predicted for tomorrow, so while it might not quite be beach weather, it’s finally not below zero anymore…

Android 14 ‘s tough sideloading restrictions

Android statue At Google HQ

Adamya Sharma / Android Authority

We’re already looking forward to Android 14, with developer previews landing around March. So far, we’ve seen some details of the new Android version trickle out, and it looks as though app downloads will be affected across the board by one of these changes.

  • According to 9to5Google, Android 14 will start to fully block apps targeting older Android versions.
  • Current Play Store guidelines mean new apps must target at least Android 12, and Google’s always asking developers to keep their apps updated.
  • This only applies to the Google Play Store, though, so it’s easy enough to sideload apps that target older Android versions, and you can download an older app from the Play Store that doesn’t comply with minimum OS requirements if you’ve installed it in the past.
  • With Android 14, that’s set to change as API requirements become stricter and outdated apps are completely blocked on the Google Play Store, as well as the option to sideload such apps.
  • Google’s doing this to reduce potential malware spread, as some apps intentionally target older versions of Android in order to get around security protections.
  • So your device will be safer, but sideloading outdated apps could be a thing of the past.
Google Pixel 4a 5G in hand back of phone

David Imel / Android Authority

In other news today, someone fitted a Pixel 5a battery into a Pixel 4a for a 17% battery boost.

  • A Redditor claims they replaced the 3,885mAh battery on their Pixel 4a with the Pixel 5a‘s 4,680mAh battery.
  • This isn’t something to try at home, though, as the Redditor in question has years of experience in PCB design and repair.
  • Though both batteries initially looked identical, the Pixel 5a’s battery was actually 4.5mm taller and 0.4mm thicker than the Pixel 4a’s cell, as well as being 1.4mm narrower.
  • So it wasn’t a perfect fit, and the phone’s battery management system had to be moved to accommodate the new battery.
  • A “visually imperceptible” bulge remained at the back of the phone, but a 17% increase in battery life was the end result. Not bad!
  • There could be some risks involved in the long run, though, like the threat of the battery exploding, battery expansion, and software compatibility.
  • Though the Redditor reckons they’ve taken care of this, we still don’t recommend you try this at home. Hopefully, they’ll post some future updates to see if the DIY battery replacement worked out as intended.

👩‍🚀 The Dead Space remake is just a few days away (January 27), but apparently, it’ll have an alternate ending, though no spoilers have leaked (Rock Paper Shotgun).

Tuesday thing

nintendo switch pokemon fish

A Japanese gamer’s pet fish spent his money in the Nintendo store after a livestreaming experiment went wrong.

  • YouTuber Mutekimaru‘s experiment was designed to see if his pet fish could complete a video game after spending north of 3,000 hours completing a previous game in the series.
  • He used motion-tracking software and a webcam pointed at the fishbowl to monitor movements and translate them into button inputs.
  • The fish can be seen swimming across a grid mapped onto their bowl, with each square labeled with a command on the Switch’s controller.
  • The fish played the latest Pokemon title, renowned for its bugs.
  • After playing for more than 1,100 hours, the title crashed, but the Nintendo Switch kept translating the fish’s movements into button commands.
  • They navigated to the store and added 500 yen ($3.84) to Mutekimaru’s account using his stored credit card, also exposing card details to those viewing.
  • The meddling fish also managed to change his account name, triggered a download from the store, and had PayPal send him a confirmation email.
  • Luckily, Nintendo was understanding and granted the YouTuber a refund.

Before you go, why not check out our pick of the best free Nintendo Switch games if you’re feeling the pinch this January?

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.

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