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Today (March 21, 2023), Google sends out an email to developers as follows:

Starting August 31, 2023: New apps and app updates must target API level 33 to be submitted to Google Play (Wear OS must target API 30).

If users have old phones with API level 27, or API level 28, can the new apps still be installed and played successfully on their old phones ?

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My understanding is that Google Play requires the target API to be 33 or above. Your minimum API will control if your app can be installed on phones with a lower API.

So if you want your app to be installable to Android API level 27 (for example) you'd have to use that as your minimum API level.

You can find more information about the difference between the target API and minimum API on the following StackOverflow question: What is the difference between min SDK version/target SDK version vs. compile SDK version?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I have also found out that Unity has the option for developers to set the build to automatically target the highest API level install on the software. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 19:53

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