9to5Google was the first to notice a subtle change made to the mobile version of the Google Play Store. It has added in the listing of each app the version of Android required to download said app on a mobile device. Previously, this information was only posted on the web version of the Play Store but it can now be easily found on an Android phone.
Let’s look at some random apps. The Chess-Play and Learn app has been downloaded more than 10 million times and has a 4.7-star rating. If you look at the listing on your phone, go to the “About this game” listing and tap the arrow on the right side of the screen to open a page that goes into great detail about the app.
How to find out what Android version you need to be running to install a particular app
Now scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a heading titled “Game info.” Look for an entry called Android OS which shows the required version of Android needed to install this game, which happens to be Android 5.0 in this example. That means that anyone who wants to install this game must be using a phone running Android 5.0 or higher.
The mobile version of the Google Play Store now shows the minimum version of Android required to install each app
One last example. Let’s look at CNN. Go to the Play Store and search for the CNN app (which has over 50 million downloads and a 4.5-star rating). When you see the listing for it, find the “About this app” heading and tap on the arrow at the right of the screen. That takes you to the About this app page.
Scroll down to the App info section and look for the Android OS entry. There you will see that to install the CNN app on your Android phone, it needs to run Android 6.0 and up. Those who use the play.google.com website have probably seen the Requires Android entry on the listing of an app in the web version of the Play Store.
Minimum Android version requirements have been on the web version of the Play Store
Why Google decided to add this information to the mobile Google Play Store is unknown since any app that has a minimum requirement newer than the Android version you are currently using should not appear on your screen. For example, using the CNN app once again, since it requires that the user own a phone running Android 6.0 or higher, phones that are running Android 5.0 or lower will not see the CNN listing on the Play Store app.
Google just added a new feature to the Play Store earlier in the week
The update including this change was just disseminated on Friday and is version 29.2.13. We are not sure how many Android users would go through the trouble of looking up this information since it is not necessary, but perhaps Google has something under its sleeve that we are not privy to.
Earlier in the week we told you that Google has released a new app icon installation feature to 14 games in the Play Store and in the process borrowed the circular progress bar used with iOS. For example, if you install an app on iOS 15.3.1 from the App Store, a circular progress bar shows you the pace at which the app you chose to download is being downloaded and installed on your iPhone. While the new Android app icon installation feature is not exactly the same, you are sure to spot the similarities.
When you install an app from the Play Store, a circular progress bar circles the icon of the app you are downloading on the home screen. When finished, the progress bar around the icon starts anew for the installation of the app. When that is finished, you are left with the icon of the app on the home screen of your Android device. You can open the Google Play Store listing of the app at anytime if you decided not to download the app before it is finished installing on your device.